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FFA UK Campaign Provides Strategies To Counter Financial Scams

Financial Fraud Action UKThe rising incidence of financial fraud in the UK has prompted the Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), a group representing UK’s payment industry to launch a campaign to educate people of its dangers.

According to FFA UK, there were over one million attempted frauds carried out in the UK over the first six months of 2016, which was an increase of almost 50 percent during the same period in 2015. This includes remote banking, payment card and cheque fraud losses.

In a statement, Katy Worobec, FFA UK’s director, said,

Last year, banks stopped £7 in £10 of attempted fraud from happening. But as the banks’ systems get more advanced, fraudsters turn their attention elsewhere and sadly this often means tricking people out of their personal details and money. …We are asking people to take five – to take that moment – to pause and think before they respond to any financial requests and share any personal or financial details.

Under the campaign Take Five, FFA UK is urging consumers to take some time before deciding to provide financial information or personal details of any sort. This could be in form of pausing during a phone call or delaying a response to a phishing email or text. The FFAUK hopes that this will protect consumers from common financial scams such as email fraud –called phishing – as well as phone and text-based cons, labelled as vishing and smishing. Scamsters usually adopt such methods to trick consumers into transferring money in accounts controlled by them.

Financial Fraud Action UK

Tony Blake, Senior Fraud Prevention Officer at the DCPCU (Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit), pointed out that while most people know the rules of sharing personal information, they often forget them when were put under pressure by fraudsters. The Take Five campaign is an attempt to remind consumers that they can take back control of conversations by delaying their response for some time.

The Take Five campaign urges consumers to: Keep their Pin Safe, Avoid Being Rushed, Be Cautious About Emails, Listen To Their Instincts And Stay In Control. The losses from such financial fraud was estimated to be around £755 million in 2015, an increase of 26 percent when compared to 2014. Over 70 percent of these losses were attributable to payment card fraud while remote banking accounted for 22 percent and cheque fraud for three percent.

According to research conducted for the campaign, almost 75 percent of people say they are aware of fraudsters' methods. But more than 25 percent provided details despite knowing that they should not. Most people decided to part with their information as they were conned into believing the person was genuine.

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