Silence of the Nans – scammers taking advantage

June 27th 2019

Scammers are taking advantage of the British stiff-upper lip by targeting older people who are too embarrassed to tell anyone that they’ve been scammed.

  • Barclays teams up with rappers Pete & Bas to encourage older people to break their silence over scams
  • Pensioners have lost a total of £399m over the past year as a result of scams 
  • Four in 10 never tell anyone about the crime as they don’t want to ‘cause a fuss’

With an estimated five million pensioners (65 and over) falling victim to a scam in the UK*, Barclays has teamed up with the nation’s oldest grime artists, Pete & Bas, to release a track – Bank Account Details Please – calling for the scammers to ‘jog on’.

The South London pensioners – both in their 70s – have become unlikely rap stars after racking up millions of internet views with their no-nonsense tracks – and perform to sell-out crowds in cities across the UK.

The campaign is encouraging the nation to break the Silence of the Nans, as research from Barclays reveals that just under a third (29 per cent) of those over the age of 65 have been scammed – losing an average of £817 – rising to £926 for men. Overall, that adds up £399m lost over the past year as a result of scams.

But the older generation are reluctant to open up and appear to suffer in silence, with four in 10 (39 per cent) keeping the crime secret from their family with many not wanting to ‘cause a fuss’ or worry them.

Keeping silent however appears to create a vicious cycle with one in four (25 per cent) older victims being scammed more than once. The emotional impact of the crime can be profound, as over a third (32 per cent) said they became less trusting of people. What’s more, almost a third (28%) admitted that they felt embarrassed after the incident, and nearly one in five (18 per cent) revealed that they felt sad or depressed as a result.

Gill Atkinson, 74, Derbyshire, said: “I didn’t really know who to turn to after I was scammed. I felt anxious about falling for such a silly trick and felt too embarrassed to tell my family or friends. But I’m glad I opened up and spoke about my experience in the end. Talking really helps, and I hope this campaign will encourage more people to talk openly about scams.”

Ross Martin, Head of Digital Safety at Barclays, said: “Scammers are trying to take advantage of older people’s reluctance to open up about these incidents, which can cause huge emotional and financial turmoil. But together we can put an end to that.

“That’s why we’re teaming up with Pete & Bas to reach out to audiences both young and old to encourage the nation to pick up the phone to older family members to encourage more conversations about scams, so we can help break this cycle.”

Pete & Bas said: “You must be having a laugh if you think you can ring my phone and get all my bank details off me. We’ve had enough to be honest. We ain’t easy pickings and we’ve teamed up with Barclays to tell people to never give out ya pin on the phone, and remind ‘em they ain’t on their own.”

Here are Barclays and Pete & Bas’ tips to fight back against the scammers

  1. Never give out ya PIN on the dog and bone. No genuine bank would message you to transfer money to a different account – ignore anyone who asks you to do this and tell them to jog on home.
  2. Don’t hand over your bread and honey. Your bank will never visit your home address and ask you to hand over your cards, PINs and personal details.
  3. Know your brass tacks. If you’re not sure you’re safe or something feels unusual, remember to always check, act with care, and never share.
  4. Get on the blower to your bank. If you think you’ve been a victim of a scam, call the police and your bank straight away.
  5. If you’re stuck, have a butcher’s hook. Check out Barclays’ website for more information on how you can stay safe


When I pick up the phone
“Bank account details please”
When I pick up the phone
“Bank account details please”

When I pick up the phone
I ain’t gonna give you my details son
So just jog on home
Never give out ya pin
On the dog and bone

That’s a no no
They been ringing on the home phone
Tryna get my money
Asking questions bout me sort code
No way son not today
You wanna make money
Better find another way

When I pick up the phone
“Bank account details please”
When I pick up the phone
“Bank account details please”



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