Lloyds Bank issues scam warning to ‘powerless’ parents as children targeted in new scheme

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Recently, the financial institution warned that parents were being left “powerless” due to the success of fraudsters who are using gaming to trick young people into parting with money and their private information. Research carried out by the bank has found that video game scams are on the rise and families are being encouraged to spot the signs for it as soon as possible. Children are left particularly exposed to this type of fraud as parents are often unaware how modern video games operate and who young people are interacting with.

Some 38 percent of parents have never spoken to their children about staying safe from fraud while using online video games, according to Lloyds.

Furthermore, a quarter of parents surveyed by the bank admitted that they lacked the essential knowledge on how to protect their child from such scams.

On top of this, 36 percent of parents are concerned that the overall family finances are at risk due to video game scams.

This comes as the bank discovered that over half of six to ten year olds now play video games between six to 20 hours each week, leaving families on alert as the scams continue.

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When it comes to gaming, Lloyds found that identity theft, phishing and hacking were the most popular scams that targeted children.

The bank also determined that online chats on in-game functions, fraudsters impersonating in-game support and fake malware installation were used to carry out these scams.

To educate young people on the dangers of gaming scams, Lloyds has partnered with the video game industry to give advice to families on the SHIELD Game Players Code.

Parents can become SHIELD Qualified in recognising this type of fraud by taking an interactive quiz which will help inform future conversations with their children about playing games while avoiding scammers.


Families looking to take this quiz can access it online via www.askaboutgames.com/Lloyds-SHIELD-quiz .

Liz Ziegler, the bank’s Retail Fraud and Financial Crime director, noted how “parental awareness” is crucial to preventing children falling for scams.

Ms Ziegler explained: “Sadly, gaming fraudsters do not discriminate and all too often children can become victims of online gaming scams. 

“We want to help bring parents into the world of online gaming to help them understand the types of fraud taking place within games and where the highest points of risks are. 

“Parental awareness and education is the first step in helping to prevent gaming fraud amongst children.

“Our dedicated quiz will allow parents to test their knowledge on the issue and learn more about the risks before having those critical conversations with their children.

“Parents should feel confident when educating their children on gaming fraud and the SHIELD protection is the first step to do just that.”

Andy Robertson, the family gaming expert and editor of Ask About Games, warned that parents should take an active role in regulating how their children interact with people online to avoid scams in the future.

He added: added: “Video games are an important way to maintain and extend playground friendships.

“They play a role in creating connectedness, reducing anxiety, and promoting relaxation.

“However, it’s important parents are involved in this area of their life and encourage open conversations about online strangers and spending.

“Having conversations about fraudsters and setting up appropriate parental controls ensures that your child’s gaming stays positive and healthy.”

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