●    Santander data reveals the volume of impersonation scams have risen by 77 per cent year-on-year 
●    The bank has seen a 69 per cent year-on-year increase in total value of claims, with customers on average reporting £3,808 loss per scam
●    Santander has partnered with RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Victoria Scone to launch ‘Safe-Tea’, a herbal brew designed to bring about a sense of calm and encourage Brits to stop and think if they’re asked – by anyone - to transfer their money to another account  

New research from Santander reveals that over half (58 per cent) of Brits have been targeted by an impersonation scammer, with 65 per cent claiming the scam was convincing.  As a result, a staggering 8,000 cases have been detected by Santander so far this year, with scams identified by the bank totalling £28.4m. 
Santander’s own data shows that there has been a 69 per cent year-on-year increase in the volume of claims.  With an average claim of £3,808, Santander saw 646 claims in the first half of September alone.  Among all age groups, women were more susceptible to impersonation scams than men.

The research further shows that one in five (21 per cent) Brits feel resigned to the fact that they are likely to fall victim to an impersonation scam in the future. 

In response, Santander has launched its ‘Safe-Tea’ campaign in partnership with Drag Queen, Victoria Scone to raise awareness of the dangers of impersonation scams.  Safe-Tea is a relaxing tea blend designed to encourage people to stop and think – over a cuppa – if they’re being put under pressure to move their money to another account.  Given that the hallmark of an impersonation scam is being contacted by someone in an apparent position of authority and urged to move money into another account, the tea symbolises the importance of taking a break and thinking about who is really contacting them and what they are asking. 

The bank’s research shows that scammers most commonly contact their victims pretending to be from a bank (33 per cent), followed by an internet provider (28 per cent), and thirdly from a government agency (27 per cent).  And those who have experienced an impersonation scam say that the scammer’s politeness (53 per cent), followed by professionalism (50 per cent) and knowledge of their personal details (50 per cent) were reasons why they found the scammer convincing.  
44 per cent of those surveyed said stopping for a cup of tea is the best way to add clarity to a situation and 35 per cent credit it for helping them avoid making a grave mistake.  
Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Risk Management at Santander said: “We know that scammers’ rule of thumb is to apply pressure to their targets, which can result in people acting in a way they would not have if they’d taken a moment to calm down and reflect first.  That’s why we’ve launched Safe-Tea. A brew is not only a great way to calm nerves in a stressful situation but encourages people to take that all important time out before acting.”   
Drag Queen, Victoria Scone, said:Whenever I find myself needing clarity in a situation or to calm down, I always pop the kettle on and make myself a cuppa. Hearing from your supposed ‘bank’ or the ‘police’ that you need to move your money is a daunting and stressful situation, so if you’re ever faced with a Scammy Sally, take a moment out to have nice warm cup of tea, think about what’s being asked and tell her not today thank you!”   
Chartered psychologist, Dr Meg Arroll, said: “In times of stress, people tend to forget to take a moment to breathe and objectively evaluate their situation. In this heightened state, some may end up doing things they would not have done had they taken some timeout to collect their thoughts. 
“During moments like this, remember to stop, breathe and mull it over with a cuppa… just don’t feel pressurised into responding before you’ve thought it through.  Providing yourself with the space and time to digest the situation at hand can help you feel more in control and avoid a costly mistake.” 

Safe-Tea comes in a box which carries Santander’s top tips for spotting an impersonation scam:  
1.    Remember the golden rule: No bank will ever call you out of the blue and ask you to move money into another account. This is always a scam.  
2.    Take a breath: The hallmark of a scam is being rushed. Take a moment to digest the information before acting. 
3.    When in doubt: Hang up and contact your bank using the number on the back of your bank card. 
4.    No sliding into DMs: Scammers often make contact through social media and other communication channels, and some even go as far as pretending to be a friend or loved on in need of help… be cautious. 
The bank is also running a series of free virtual scam awareness sessions that cover how best to protect yourself from the latest scams and fraud. More information and to register: https://www.santanderevents.co.uk/ 

– ENDS – 

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.  

Notes to Editors:
Research commissioned by Santander, conducted by One Poll, polling between 19th – 24th August 2022. 2,000 nationally representative adults across the UK. 

Santander data from January 2021 to August 2022, unless otherwise specified.

The soothing Safe-Tea blend contains apple pieces, rooibos, chamomile, ginger, lavender, spearmint and natural flavourings, each picked for their calming qualities to help provide clarity of mind with every sip.  

Further photos available on request. 

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 June 2022, the bank had around 18,000 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK.  

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of the first half of 2022, Banco Santander had €1.2 trillion in total funds, 157 million customers, of which 26 million are loyal and 50 million are digital, 9,200 branches and 200,000 employees.