Over the past few months, I’ve partnered up with Take Five – a national awareness campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK (part of UK Finance), backed by the Government – and brought you a series of blog posts, podcasts and social media coverage of events. It’s been an eye-opening time for me!
I’ve long prided myself as someone who has their wits about them, and if I’m honest, I was probably slightly on the cocky side, thinking ‘No one would ever catch me out in a scam!’
But listening to the stories of people who have been caught out, and listening to the experts at Take Five, it’s clear that no one is too clever to be scammed. Which is the first of the five things I’ve learned…
- Scammers are very clever and they go out of their way to sound genuine. Just listen to my podcast episode with Katie Ellison to hear how convincing the scammer was who conned her and her husband out of over £9000. Even highly intelligent people fall victim to scams, so don’t think you’re above it.
- Despite popular belief, elderly people aren’t more likely to be targeted. Busy parents who are rushing around and juggling multiple tasks are often scammed and teenagers with mobile phones and email addresses are easy targets too.
- Spread the word about scams you hear about – tell your family and friends so that they’re aware too, and tell them what to do if they receive a suspicious call, email or text.
- Make your default position: My money, My info, I Don’t Think So. Make it hard for scammers to get their hands on your hard-earned cash.
- If you’re in any doubt that the text, call or email you’ve received is genuine, always stop and Take Five to think about it. The scammer wants you to feel panicked, but don’t allow them to pressurise you. Take five, call the organisation on a trusted number and ask if the call/text/email you’ve received is genuine.
For more information on fraud and how to avoid scams, visit the Take Five website.
This post has been commissioned by Take Five. For details of how I work with brands and campaigns, see my Work With Me page.