Money

Millennials posting pet pictures on Instagram are at risk of fraud, Santander warns

A woman takes a selfie with a dog
Ezequiel Becerra | AFP | Getty Images

Millennials posting photos of their pets on social media platforms such as Instagram are putting themselves at risk of fraud and financial scams, according to a new survey.

Spanish bank Santander, in a survey, criticized celebrities for setting a bad example by oversharing online, claiming they were putting "impressionable young followers" at risk.

In June, Santander U.K. and OnePoll surveyed 2,000 British adults who use Instagram, publishing their findings on Monday.

Almost 90% of people under the age of 25 admitted to posting personal information — such as their age or pet's name — on social media.

Meanwhile, one in 10 people in the same age range have shared the name of a pet on Instagram and used that name as a password, according to Santander.

The lender noted that more than a quarter of the Instagram accounts followed by under 25s belonged to celebrities, with its research showing that 40% of young adults were influenced by celebrity posts. A third of 18 to 24 year olds said they had used an actual celebrity Instagram post as inspiration for their own social media content.

Celebrity oversharing was setting a "particularly dangerous" trend, Santander warned. Publishing too much information could enable fraudsters to build up profiles of victims, which could be used to apply for financial products in their name, manipulate a victim into sharing more personal details, or transfer their money into another account.

The bank claimed it had uncovered "a selection of celebrities who are guilty of oversharing on Instagram."

Some celebrities are renowned for posting photos of their pets, with many even opening separate accounts dedicated to them.

View this post on Instagram

This is Benjamin Button. He’s a good boy.

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Lady Gaga's French bulldog has its own verified account with 233,000 followers, while singer Taylor Swift – who has 119 million followers – regularly posts pictures of her pet cats.

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