Fifty nine. That’s how many tasks research shows an active parent does, on an average day, to keep life ticking along. And I can believe it. There’s been many a time that I’ve felt totally frazzled because of the amount of lists, tasks and information swimming around in my head. It can completely overwhelm you.
So it’s no surprise that experts from Take Five – a national awareness campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK (part of UK Finance), backed by the Government – say that busy parents are at particular risk of being victims of scams. Many of us are so consumed by the sheer volume of things that need to be done, that we might not stop and think if we receive a call, text or email from an organisation asking for our PINs or passwords, asking for us to click links or requesting that we move money urgently to a ‘safe’ account.
Take an average day for me – I’m fortunate that I work from home, so I can juggle a few more things than when I worked full time in an office – but it’s still pretty hectic…
- Make breakfast for the seven-year-old and me (Mr P leaves for work before breakfast)
- Make sure the seven-year-old has put on a clean school uniform
- Brush the seven-year-old’s teeth and tie up her hair (“I want a plait on one side, please Mummy, and a ponytail on the other….”)
- Open the curtains and make the beds
- Help the seven-year-old pack her school bag, remembering homework book
- Fill the seven-year-old’s water bottle
- Suddenly remember that the seven-year-old needs to take junk modelling materials to school so wash and dry some recycling
- Walk the seven-year-old to school
- Back home, unload dishwasher and tidy away breakfast dishes
- Give kitchen a quick once over clean
- Put a load of laundry into washing machine
- Sit down to do some work at my laptop
- Make a cup of tea. While kettle is boiling (top multi-tasking tip!) fold up some clean, dry laundry and place in laundry basket
- After more work, pop to the supermarket to buy groceries
- Home again, hang up clean laundry that’s finished in washing machine
- Pick up the seven-year-old from school
- Give her some fruit as a snack
- Unpack the seven-year-old’s school bag
- Read any notes from the school and pin important ones to pin board
- Sit with the seven-year-old while she does her homework
- Remind the seven-year-old to get changed for after school club
- Take her to dancing/swimming lesson/Beavers
- Home again, make dinner for the seven-year-old
- Run bath for the seven-year-old
- Cajole the seven-year-old away from the TV and into the bath
- Dry seven-year-old’s hair
- Brush her teeth
- Get her changed into her PJs
- Read a few pages of a Harry Potter book together
- Tuck the seven-year-old into bed
- Load the dishwasher again
- Tidy and clean the kitchen again
- Make dinner for me and Mr P
OK, so it’s only 33 things (am I just lazy compared to the average parent?!) but it’s still a pretty full on day! It would be so easy for me, whilst trying to multi-task and tick off things from my daily list, to forget the dos and don’ts of avoiding financial fraud.
So, if you’re as busy than I am (or busier!), here are the key things to remember:
- 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.
- 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.
- Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
This post has been commissioned by Take Five. For details of how I work with brands and campaigns, see my Work With Me page.