In 2016, the UK lost £2 million each day as a result of financial fraud, according to official figures released by Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK).
The figures show the overall scale of financial fraud was £768.8 million, an increase on the £755 million lost in 2015.
The figures are published as all major banks and key financial services providers across the UK come together for the first time for a national day of action to raise awareness of how everyone can protect themselves and their loved ones from financial fraud. The day, part of the Take Five campaign, will see dedicated activity up and down the country, including many branches opening five minutes early. Staff in more than 6,800 bank branches will talk directly, and through other routes, to their customers and encourage them to take the time to talk to five others about the simple steps they can take to protect themselves from financial fraudsters.
Commenting, Katy Worobec, Director of FFA UK, said: “Tackling financial fraud is a priority for our members and a great deal of progress continues to be made. However, as today’s figures highlight, this remains a significant problem with fraudsters using increasingly sophisticated methods to circumvent bank technology and target victims. While the payments industry stops 6 in every 10 pounds of attempted fraud, it cannot solve the problem alone. Collective action is needed with banks, police and customers all playing their part. I hope today, on Take Five Day, customers will take the opportunity to find out how they can help better protect themselves and their loved ones from falling victim to financial fraudsters.”
To mark Take Five Day, new research reveals that almost three quarters of people (74 per cent) are worried about falling victim to financial fraud while more than six in ten (68 per cent) expressed the same concern about their families. Despite this, seven in ten (71 per cent) admitted they had never discussed with anyone how to protect themselves against financial fraud with more than half (55 per cent) believing it was too complicated to talk about.
Tony Blake, Senior Fraud Prevention Officer, DCPCU (Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit), commented: “There are simple steps that we can all take to protect ourselves and those around us when it comes to financial fraud, so it is concerning that almost three quarters of people admit they have never discussed the issue. On Take Five Day we are encouraging everyone to share the message that it’s okay to stop and think before sharing any personal or financial details. Taking that moment allows us all the opportunity to follow the simple advice which will better protect us from fraudsters.”
Take Five Day is part of the Take Five campaign - which aims to put consumers and businesses back in control with straight forward advice to help prevent financial fraud. It focuses on financial frauds directly targeting customers, such as email deception (known as phishing) and phone and text-based scams (sometimes known as vishing and smishing), and is designed to remind people that it pays to stop and think.
The Take Five campaign is asking consumers to help protect themselves from financial fraud by passing on some simple advice to five loved ones:
Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password - it’s never right to reveal these details
Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine - people aren’t always who they say they are
Don’t be rushed - a bank or genuine organisation won’t mind waiting to give you time to stop and think
Listen to your instincts - if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it
Stay in control - have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information