No matter how competent you are in managing your finances, you could find yourself becoming a victim of financial fraud.
This is because criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in targeting our money through phone, text and website scams.
With £2million being lost to financial fraud in the UK every day,* it’s vital to be aware of how scammers operate, so you can protect your money.
If in doubt about any financial transaction, stop, Take Five and remind yourself of this phrase: ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so!’
It’s a simple way to help you confidently challenge scammers.
Take Five to Stop Fraud is the national campaign from Financial Fraud Action UK and the UK Government, supported by the banking industry. It aims to help us all recognise financial fraud and be confident enough to challenge scammers. For more info, visit takefive-stopfraud.org.uk.
Here, Kate,** 38, explains how she fell victim to a fraudster who persuaded her to reveal her bank details over the phone…
‘When I switched phone providers, I was pleased with my new deal. It seemed the phone company cared about customer service too, as they called me a couple of days later to check how I was getting on, and whether I’d had any network issues.
‘Then the well-spoken man said he also wanted to check I was paying the right amount each month, so asked me to confirm my bank details.
‘He already knew the last four digits of my card number, so without thinking I supplied the rest of the number, as well as the expiry date and security code on the back of the card.
‘After that, the conversation ended quite abruptly, which struck me as odd, so I decided to ring the provider to check the call had been genuine.
‘I was horrified to discover they hadn’t rung me at all, so the call had been a scam to get my bank details. I checked my account to find someone had already started spending my money at a DIY store!
‘I rang the bank straight away to cancel my card and explain what had happened.
‘Thankfully my bank refunded the money I’d lost, but it was a real wake-up call for me. These days I never reveal personal or financial information, and I tell all my friends to do the same.’
3 ways to stay safe from fraud
• Never share personal or financial details
A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.
Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.
• Don’t click on links
You may get a text message allegedly from a well-known company, asking you to click on a link within the text. Another common scam is an email claiming you are due a refund from an official body such as TV Licensing. Or you may get a demand to pay a speeding fine urgently.
Messages like this contain links that take you to a fake website where scammers can steal your personal or financial information.
To contact a company, bank or organisation to check out these messages, always type their web address directly into your browser’s address bar, or contact them using a known email address or phone number.
• Install the latest software and app updates
They contain vital security updates to help protect your devices from cyber criminals.