Consumers could be leaving themselves vulnerable to fraud by thinking they’re too smart to be scammed, according to new research from Take Five.
The fraud prevention initiative – which is backed by financial institutions as well as the government – found that four in five (80%) people said they could confidently identify a fraudulent approach.
Yet a separate test revealed that fewer than one in 10 (9%) who completed Take Fives’ ‘Too smart to be scammed’ test scored full marks when asked to identify scam texts and emails from genuine messages. You can take the test yourself on Take Fraud’s website.
The findings have been released during ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud Week’, which begins today.
It comes as figures reveal that in the first half of 2017, £366.4 million was lost to financial fraud with a further £101.2 million lost through authorised bank transfer scams, according to banking trade body UK Finance.
The Payments Systems Regulator announced plans to crackdown on payment fraudsters last year. But the Take Five campaign encourages consumers to take their own action by always ‘taking five’ minutes to stop and think about whether they’re being approached by fraudsters, and to confidently challenge any requests for their personal or financial information.
Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, comments: “During Take Five to Stop Fraud Week we want 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.”
Ben Wallace MP, minister of state for security, adds: “Fraudsters do not discriminate – we are all potential targets and even the savviest among us can get caught out.”
Protect yourself from fraud
In addition to taking five to protect yourself from fraud, Take Five has issued the following 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.
See our How to be Cyber Aware hub for more tips on how to stay secure online.