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For Immediate Release Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C)

Citi Survey Finds Overconfidence May Leave Americans Exposed to Financial Scams

November 30, 2023

Data Highlights Americans' Vulnerabilities – and Opportunities – in the Face of Relentless Scam Attempts

NEW YORK - The waves of sophisticated phone, text and online scam attempts that accompany modern life may leave Americans numb to the dangers of scams and overconfident in their ability to prevent them. A new Citi survey reveals a startling reality: 90% of U.S. adults express confidence in their ability to detect and prevent financial scams, yet more than a quarter (27%) of 2,432 online respondents report falling victim at some point. This disconnect emphasizes the need for continued vigilance, awareness and education to keep consumers' finances safe. 

"Today's scammers are nimble, well-organized and aided by sophisticated tools," said Michael Steinbach, Head of Financial Crimes and Fraud Prevention at Citi. "Scammers often deal in volume, and it only takes one successful attempt to profit. They are counting on you to be too busy or confident to spot red flags — and the consequences can be financially devastating. Particularly during the holiday season when scammers are very active, it's important to remain vigilant, listen to your instincts and turn to trustworthy sources of fraud and scam information to protect yourself." 
 
Part of the problem is the proliferation and sophistication of scams. 
Americans reported $8.8 billion in scam losses to the Federal Trade Commission in 2022 — a 30% increase over 2021. While Citi's data found that most Americans are familiar with standard scamming methods like phishing (54%) and bank impersonation (51%), more than 1 in 10 (13%) couldn't identify any of the 14 common scams presented to them in the survey. Of course, familiarity with scams isn't necessarily preventing Americans from succumbing to them. 32% of Gen Z report being victims of financial scams — the highest of any age group. 
 
The consequences of scams can be severe.  
The survey from Citi also revealed that more than 7 in 10 (71%) adults who fell victim to a scam say it impacted their financial health, such as setting back their savings (38%), sending them into debt or deeper into debt (29%), or lowering their credit score (18%). Survey respondents report taking several measures after a scam, including blocking the scammers (45%), changing their passwords (37%) and contacting their banks (37%). 
 
You can help prevent scams before they happen. Here's how. 
The good news? Americans are taking steps to avoid scams, including getting actionable advice from a trusted source. When asked whom they trust most for fraud and scam prevention information, a majority (55%) cited their bank among their top three. Your bank is a wise place to start if you need help determining where to turn to protect yourself from scammers. 
 
However, only two-thirds (67%) routinely check their account statements and credit scores to monitor for unusual activity. What's more, 1 in 10 Americans report employing none of the scam prevention tactics presented to them in the survey.  
 
Citi is your partner in the fight against scams. Here are a few methods to help keep your accounts safe: 

  1. For additional account security, add biometric login, such as facial or fingerprint recognition for mobile devices, and a second factor of authentication, such as a one-time passcode sent to a trusted device.
  2. Create robust, long, unique passwords or passphrases for each website.  
  3. Secure crucial numbers such as PINs, SocialSecurity Numbers or driver's license numbers. For example, shred documents containing personal information, don’t share crucial numbers and don't enter personal information on a public computer.
  4. Don't reveal personal or financial information to people you don't know, whether by phone, email, mail, in-person or social media.
  5. Trust your instincts if something seems off. Don't allow yourself to be persuaded by a false sense of urgency or an opportunity that looks too good to be true. 

 
Find the complete survey here. For expert fraud prevention advice, visit citi.com/fraudprevention
 
Survey Methodology: Unless otherwise stated, all figures are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2,432 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between September 8 – 12, 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+). 


About Citi 

Citi is a preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs, a global leader in wealth management and a valued personal bank in its home market of the United States. Citi does business in nearly 160 countries and jurisdictions, providing corporations, governments, investors, institutions and individuals with a broad range of financial products and services.

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Media Contact

Colin Wright: 917-375-1834, colin.wright@citi.com