I am delighted that Energy UK is supporting Take Five to Stop Fraud, a national awareness campaign on financial fraud and scams, bringing together the financial sector and the UK Government. Scams are becoming more sophisticated and criminals can catch out even the savviest consumers. By working together with Take Five, energy suppliers can help consumers confidently challenge fraudsters. As an industry the energy suppliers take fraud and crime seriously and want to do what they can to help protect their customers.
From 22-28 January Take Five to Stop Fraud Week is taking place to raise awareness. And you can play your part too. We’d love you to ‘take five to tell five’. During the Week we’d like everyone to spend five minutes to tell five people – your friends, family, neighbours – about how they can protect themselves from fraud and scams. That way we can spread the message far and wide and make sure we’re all confidently challenging the criminals who would like to part us from our money. Thank you for your support and remember – ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.
As a Senior Fraud Prevention Officer in the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, I have seen first-hand the financial and emotional cost to victims of fraud. No one is too smart to be scammed.
You may think that you’d spot a fraudulent phone call, text message or email, but as criminals use a variety of clever confidence tricks it’s harder than you think. You can put your scam spotting to the test by trying our quiz. You can share with family and friends to see who knows most! It’s all about spreading the word.
However well you score, there are ways to better protect yourself from fraud and scams. This starts with taking five and remembering a simple memorable phase: ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’. If you’re at all unsure about a phone call, text message or email; don’t give out your personal details, click on a link or give anyone access to your money. My three essential tips to remember in any scenario are:
- 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 that you are expecting to be contacted by.
- Clicking on dodgy links in emails or texts - 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.
- Personal information - Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead of responding, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
This blog is written by Tony Blake, Senior Fraud Prevention Officer Dedicated Card & Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), specialist national police unit.