This blog is general information only. It isn’t advice, and isn’t an insight into the views of TSB or any of our Partners.
The latest figures available show that the finance industry stopped £1.4 billion in attempted fraud in 2017, equivalent to £2 in every £3 of attempted unauthorised fraud. But that still means over £730 million was lost to fraud in 2017 – or £2 million every day – made up of nearly two million reported cases.
On top of that, an additional £236 million was lost to authorised push payment (APP) scams, where a customer is duped into transferring money to criminals, which can be much harder for banks to spot as the customer has authorised the payment themselves.
No one is too smart to be scammed, but that doesn’t mean you need to be scared. Financial services, the police and consumers are fighting back. Here’s how.
How to avoid fraudsters
The “Take Five to Stop Fraud” national awareness campaign is led by UK Finance, backed by the Government and supported and delivered by banks. It encourages people to take a moment to pause and think before they respond to any text, email or phone call asking them to share any personal or financial details.
Here are their three golden rules to stay safe from fraud:
Requests to move money:
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 who you are expecting to contact you.
Clicking on links/files:
Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
Requests for personal information:
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number; for example, look for contact details on a known website or on the back of your bank card.
Fraud – what to look out for
Fraud is constantly evolving, and it can come in many guises. But here are some common examples to help you spot attempted fraud:
An unexpected call – automated or otherwise – asking you for personal details such as your PIN.
A suspicious SMS (text message) either directing you to a web address or asking you to make a phone call to an unfamiliar number.
A suspicious email – particularly one that pretends to be your bank – asking you to transfer money.
An unexpected popup (a message that appears on your screen) asking for personal details.
Unexpected post that seems odd. If you receive any letters out of the blue from your bank but you’re worried it’s not genuine, don’t follow the instructions on the letter and, instead, call your bank to check if the letter is genuine.
Other forms of frauds and scams can be found at the Metropolitan Police’s “The Little Book of Big Scams” – a fantastic resource to further raise awareness of the ever-evolving ways fraudsters scam people and defraud people of their hard-earned money.
Remember, people aren’t always who they say they are. Fraudsters often impersonate someone else and seek to exploit our naturally-trusting personalities. They may pretend to be from your bank, card company, police, utility company, a government department or someone else you usually deal with and trust.
In situations where a customer has authorised a transfer themselves, banks are not legally obliged to return their money, so they may not get their money back. But the important thing to remember is that whichever way you’re targeted, you can beat the fraudsters by following the Take Five golden rules.
What to do if you think you’ve been defrauded
If you think you've been a victim of fraud, don’t panic. Get in touch with your bank straight away. Fraudsters move fast, so you contacting your bank quickly using the number on the back of your card will improve the chance of the fraud being stopped in its tracks and your money being recovered. You should also report it to the police via Action Fraud (England and Wales) or call Police Scotland on 101 (Scotland).
Banks will act to secure your account once they think fraud is taking place and they’ll investigate any transactions you're concerned about.
If it doesn't feel right, report it to your bank immediately. But if you feel your life is in danger, always call 999.
“My money? My info? I don’t think so!”
Fraudsters are clever, and their tricks are ever more sophisticated. By following a few simple rules outlined by Take Five, you can put yourself in the best possible position to keep your personal information and money safe. And if you feel you have become a victim, stay calm and contact your bank as quickly as possible and they’ll do their best to help.
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