Parents fear their children may be victims of ‘gambling fraud’

According to a survey, a third of parents fear it is only a matter of time before their children fall victim to so-called gamer fraud.

A study of 1,000 parents of children aged 6 to 15 found that 31% felt powerless to protect them, and 36% feared their own finances were at risk.

However, 38% admitted that they had never spoken to their offspring about the threat posed by online gambling fraud.

This is despite the fact that 55% of parents gave their children access to their credit or debit accounts.

The poll was commissioned by Lloyds Bank.

Helen Skelton, the former presenter of Blue Peter, supports the bank’s new campaign urging parents to discuss gambling fraud with their children and put in place stricter controls on devices that can limit chat or spending in the game.

She said: “For many children, play is the currency, especially for children with older siblings.

“Mine are no different from other kids and my eldest in particular is showing a growing interest in online games and activities.

“I’m an avowed technophobe, so like many parents, I’m nervous about the world beyond the screen that I know nothing about.

“That’s why it’s important for me to try to put protections and safeguards in place so that I know they can sometimes play online safely like their peers.”

One in 10 respondents said their children had already been victims of this type of crime – identity theft being the most common, followed by hacking, phishing and grooming.

The most common methods used by scammers are in-game chat features, in-game spoofing, phone calls, phishing emails or text messages, and malware.

But 77% of respondents let their children play video games without adult supervision, and 25% do not use any security measures to prevent fraud.

A quarter admitted they did not know how to protect their children from fraudsters.

Liz Ziegler, director of retail fraud and financial crime at Lloyds Bank, said: “Unfortunately gambling fraudsters do not discriminate and too often children can fall victim to online gambling scams. .

“We want to help parents enter the world of online gaming to help them understand the types of fraud that occur in games and where the highest points of risk are.

“Parent awareness and education is the first step in helping to prevent gambling fraud among children.”

Andy Robertson, family games expert at Ukie, said: “Video games are an important way to maintain and extend friendships on the playground.

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

“However, it is important that parents are involved in this area of ​​their lives and encourage open conversations about online strangers and spending.

“Having conversations about scammers and implementing appropriate parental controls ensures that your child’s game stays positive and healthy.”

About Dorie Castro

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