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Financial scams occur every 15 seconds: how to stay protected

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

An incident of financial fraud occurred every 15 seconds in the first half of the year, according to official figures from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK).

More than one million cases of payment card, remote banking and cheque fraud occurred in the six months to June, an increase of 53% on the same period in 2015 during which there were 660,308 cases of financial fraud.

The figures come as FFA UK and all major banks and key financial services providers across the UK launch a national campaign to combat financial fraud.

The Take Five campaign offers straight forward advice to help prevent financial fraud.

It focuses on email deception (known as phishing) and phone and text-based scams (sometimes known as vishing and smishing). It also aims to help protect people from moving money into bank accounts controlled by fraudsters.

Katy Worobec, director of FFA UK, said: “Last year, banks stopped £7 in £10 of attempted fraud from happening. But as the banks’ systems get more advanced, fraudsters turn their attention elsewhere and sadly this often means tricking people out of their personal details and money.”

Home Office Security Minister, Ben Wallace, said: “The impact of financial fraud can be devastating on victims, with fraudsters using increasingly cunning and convincing tactics. They prey on people who are trying to get on with their lives but in a moment where they are busy or distracted become vulnerable. The message of the Take Five campaign is don’t be hurried or hustled, take a moment before you give out any personal information.”

How to protect yourself from fraud

    1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password – it’s never right to reveal these details
    2. Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine – people aren’t always who they say they are
    3. Don’t be rushed – a bank or genuine organisation won’t mind waiting to give you time to stop and think
    4. Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it
    5. Stay in control – have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information