A new campaign has been launched to help members of the public be aware of financial fraud following a recent rise in telephone and text scams.

Take Five, provides information and guidance about the prevention of fraud and aims to  encourage people to gain the confidence to challenge fraudulent behaviour in a safe manner.

Led by UK Finance, Take Five involves a range of partners in the UK, such as financial services firms, law enforcement agencies, telecommunication providers, commercial, public and third sector organisations.

The main aim of the campaign is to teach potential victims of fraud the key steps of Take Five:

Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before proceeding with any transactions.

Challenge: Question whether it is genuine and credible; if you are unsure, you can reject, refuse, or ignore any requests as only criminals would rush or panic you.

Protect: If you think something isn’t right with the request, contact your bank immediately and report to Action Fraud.

The first half of 2021 saw criminals steal a total of £753.9 million through fraud. According to UK Finance, this is a 30% increase.

Bank branches, Merseyside Police, and other organisations across the region all advocate policies to protect customers from financial fraud, with the Take Five campaign set up to ensure members of the public are aware of these policies.

Prime victims of financial fraud or scams are elderly people.

Florence Williams, 77, described her anguish at receiving scam texts.

“They always target us elderly.”

“These calls and texts are a nuisance; they know we’re vulnerable. Some are confused, and could feel rushed and start to panic, and end up giving their information to scammers.”

Financial fraud isn’t the only prominent issue in the UK, as cyber criminals are also advanced hackers.

Elin Jones, a victim of hacking, explained her traumatic experience of having her financial details breached.

“It happened about two  years ago, I received a text from my telecommunication provider saying, ‘Thank you for your call, your sim card will be delivered shortly’.

“At first, I was shocked as I had no idea why they sent me that text. I phoned them up asking what was going on and they said that someone had ordered a sim card on my account.

“As this wasn’t me, it meant that someone had hacked into my account and made an order. I felt a bit annoyed, but they assured me that after I changed my passwords that it wouldn’t happen again.

However, the next day Elin received the same text from the company, so she rang them up to ask what was going on.

“They said that someone had managed to hack my account again! At this point I was furious and a little scared that someone could hack my personal details so easily. After changing my details for the second time, I haven’t had any issues since, but this has left me nervous and on edge that it could happen again.”

For further information and advice, visit https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/.

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