Research carried out by insurer Canada Life has revealed that 5.2 million people in the UK have fallen victim to scams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Canada Life's research showed that the most common financial scams are banking scams, followed by insurance scams and pensions scams.
Victims lost an average of £566 per scam, the research found. 48% of people surveyed said that the scams are so convincing they are difficult to spot. 55% stated that falling victim to a scam has taken a toll on their mental health.
Commenting on the research, Andrew Tully, Technical Director at Canada Life, said: 'Falling prey to a scam can be devastating, not only for the individual involved but also for their family and friends.
'The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a fertile opportunity for 'lowlifes' to prey on not only the vulnerable but also people who are worried and anxious about both their health and their wealth.
'We all need to be on our guard for any signs of fraudulent activity as scammers continue to evolve and adopt ever more sophisticated and ingenious ways of encouraging people to part with their hard-earned money.'