Scam complaints are on the rise, increasing by 63 percent on the previous year, according to the Banking Ombudsman Scheme's latest report.
Banking Ombudsman Nicola Sladden said they had received 535 scam complaints out of a total 4732 complaints in the past year.
Scammers were becoming increasingly sophisticated - impersonating trusted organisations like banks or telcos, even family members on social channels - making it difficult to identify what was real, Sladden said.
Her advice was for people to use strong passwords, to research companies before investing, and be cautious of links in texts or emails.
"Nonetheless, complaints rose - both to banks and to us," Sladden said.
The report showed the biggest source of complaints continued to be lending, half of which involved home loans.
Complaints of this type rose markedly in November 2021, largely because of amendments to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003, she said.
"These legislative changes caused unexpected delays to borrowers, although we foresaw that greater scrutiny of loan applications would probably have this effect and prepared guidance for borrowers," Sladden said.
The scheme's total caseload was down 1.7 percent on the previous financial year, and the number of cases formally investigated down even more - 15.7 percent, she said.
Sladden attributed this to the scheme's early resolution service, which aimed to sort out inquiries and complaints as quickly as possible before they escalated into formal disputes.