We have talked in the past about the importance of keeping you and your loved ones safe from fraud and other financial scams.
Recently, UK Finance, a trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector, launched an initiative to raise awareness. Take Five is a national campaign that offers straight forward, impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial fraud. This includes email deception and phone-based scams as well as online fraud, particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.1
Many people may already know the dos and don’ts of financial fraud and scams – that no one should ever contact them out of the blue to ask for their full PIN or full password, or ever make them feel pressured into moving money to another account. The trouble is, in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget this.
Take Five highlight the main areas where fraud can take place:
“Identity theft is when your personal information is stolen and used to open bank accounts apply for plastic cards and loans or government benefits and documents such as passports and driving licences in your name”.2
Payment in Advance Fraud
“Also known as an advance fee scam, this is when you’re convinced to pay an upfront fee in order to receive a prize/service, high value goods or loans which never materialise”.3
“Criminals either set up fake websites or social media profiles to sell tickets for major events (such as sports, music or theatre) that are either fraudulent or don’t exist”.4
The trade association also advise on how to spot ticket fraud by the following quoted from the website:-
- “You see an offer for a ticket online, in an email or a message/DM.
- You’re offered tickets for a high demand or sold out event at a ‘too good to be true’ price.
- You’re asked to pay by bank transfer only and not via the secure payment methods recommended by reputable online retailers.
- You see a website that looks similar to that of a genuine organisation but there are subtle changes to the URL.
- You’re told that a customer representative will be arranged to meet outside the venue”.4
An impersonation scam is where a criminal contacts you pretending to be a person or organisation you trust. These scams can be very sophisticated and often start with attempts to get you to disclose personal and financial information. They then use this information to impersonate someone you trust, making it seem more believable, but their ultimate aim is to try to steal your money.
“71 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed said they had been contacted by an impersonation scammer, with 73 per cent of those targeted saying they had subsequently been persuaded to either send money or share personal information”.5
A word of advice from UK Finance –
“If you believe you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately on a number you know to be correct, such as the one listed on your statement, their website or on the back of your debit or credit card.
Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.”2
- Take Five (2022) What is Take Five?. Available at: https://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/ (Accessed 21 Nov 2022)
- Take Five (2022) Identity Theft. Available at: https://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/general-advice/identity-theft/ (Accessed 21 Nov 2022)
- Take Five (2022) Payment in Advance Fraud. Available at: https://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/general-advice/payment-in-advance-fraud/ (Accessed 21 Nov 2022)
- Take Five (2022) Ticket Fraud. Available at: https://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/ticket-fraud/ (Accessed 21 Nov 2022)
- Take Five (2022) People Under 35 Are More At Risk From Impersonation Scams. Available at: https://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/news/people-under-35-are-more-at-risk-from-impersonation-scams/ (Accessed 21 Nov 2022)