Are you too smart to be scammed?

Friday, February 9, 2018

Research from the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign has revealed that people could be leaving themselves vulnerable to financial fraud by thinking they are too smart to be scammed.

Backed by UK Finance, financial institutions and Government to help protect consumers, Take Five to Stop Fraud recently questioned the UK public on their perception of fraud and scams. Four in five people (80 per cent) said they could confidently identify a fraudulent approach.

Take Five to Stop Fraud put those perceptions to the test, inviting the UK public to take the Take Five Too Smart To Be Scammed? Quiz, and test whether they could separate the scam texts and emails from genuine messages, with over 63,000 individuals taking part from across the UK.

The results contradict the public’s perceptions of their savviness to spot a scam, with just 9% of people who completed the quiz answering all eight questions correctly. The findings were revealed prior to the Take Five to Stop Fraud Week held at the end of last month to give people the knowledge they need to spot scams and encourages.

Figures from UK Finance showed that £366.4 million was lost to financial fraud in the first half of 2017, with a further £101.2 million lost through authorised bank transfer scams.

Commenting on the findings, Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance said:

“Criminals are using very sophisticated methods, so it’s more important than ever that people are aware of how to protect themselves from fraud. During Take Five to Stop Fraud Week we wanted to spread the message that you should always question any calls, texts or emails asking for your details out of the blue. Stop and think before you give away any information, no matter how legitimate the person sounds – and remember – it’s ‘My Money? My Info? I don’t think so’. If you are unsure, then hang up and don’t reply and contact the organisation directly on a number you trust.”

Alison Perry, mum and author of the Not Another Mummy Blog, who is supporting the Take Five campaign said:

“I thought I was pretty switched on to these kind of scams and could see them a mile away. Having completed Take Five’s quiz online, I now realise how many times I may have been caught out, and how varied and believable scams are. It’s also given me the confidence to challenge things that I don’t feel comfortable with when I receive uninvited calls, texts or emails supposedly from brands that I might naturally trust. I’ll definitely be taking five seconds before I act in future, and remembering the message ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.”

Right Honourable Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State for Security, said:

“Fraudsters do not discriminate – we are all potential targets and even the savviest among us can get caught out. “The scale of the problem demands a collaborative and innovative response to keep pace with the threat. That is why we launched the Joint Fraud taskforce in 2016 – bringing together Government, law enforcement and industry. “Its national Take Five campaign is helping to protect the public with simple steps to prevent themselves from falling victim to fraud.”

To help consumers protect themselves the Take Five campaign has issued three key pieces of advice:

  1. 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.

  2. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

  3. If you’re approached with a request for personal information, don’t provide it. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

To find out more about Take Five visit www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk