How many texts, emails or phone calls do you get in the space of a month that seem dodgy? You know the type I mean – a text from “your bank” saying that there’s been suspicious activity on your account and to phone this number…. Or an email from a random company about a payment they owe you and you must click this link to claim the money. It happens so often that I don’t even notice them – I just hit ‘delete’. The ones that have nearly caught me out in the past look like they’ve come from PayPal, and when I hover my cursor over the email address, I can see they come from some very random source rather than actual PayPal. Crafty…
It’s something we all deal with, and it’s something that the government and Financial Fraud Action UK are keen to educate us on, via the brilliant Take Five campaign. Encouraging us all to ‘take five minutes and think about it’ when we’re contacted by anyone asking us for personal or sensitive information, the campaign has identified that busy mums like me are easy targets. We’re rushing around, juggling multiple things every day, so when we see an email, text or get a call about something important, we might be inclined to believe what we’re hearing or seeing, because we’re not stopping and properly thinking it through.
In fact, Mumsnet, who are working with Take Five to spread the word on fraud prevention have discovered that 49% of mums worry about fraud, and a quarter of mums have been a victim.
This week, I spoke on a panel at a Mumsnet and Take Five where fraud prevention was discussed – along with fellow blogger Talya Stone, Senior Fraud Prevention Officer, Tony Blake, TSB Head of Fraud Elaine Ross and Phil Robertson, Tesco Bank Head of Future Bank, we delved into how easy it is to be taken in by scammers – and the lengths some of them will go to, to get their hands on our cash.
“Criminals are now very sophisticated, so it is more important than ever that people are aware of the advice on how to protect themselves from becoming a victim,” says Tony Blake. “Stop and think before you give away any information, no matter how legitimate an approach may appear – remember – My money? My info? I don’t think so.”
You can watch a video of our panel discussion, which went out live on the Mumsnet Facebook page here.
I’ll be talking a lot more about ways you can identify and protect yourself from fraud over the next few months because I’m working with Take Five as an ambassador – which is just a fancy name for someone who’ll be talking a lot about the campaign! I’m excited to be working on it – although not quite as excited as my good friend Molly who misread my text message and thought I was now a Take That ambassador. In my dreams…
So if you’re interested to learn more about how to protect yourself from the different types of fraud that are happening all around us, all the time, then make sure you follow me across social media, subscribe to my podcast and keep reading the blog, because I’ve got some really interesting stuff coming up over the next few months.
I also recommend you check out the Take Five website for more info too – there are loads of great tips over there, to really make you think twice about stuff.
This post has been commissioned by Take Five and as always, all views are my own. For details of commercial posts on this site, see my Work With Me page.