Take Five To Stop Fraud

18 October 2016

Just taking a minute to stop and think could stop a costly mistake


We might think we’d never just hand over our personal or financial information to a stranger, but it’s all too easy to panic when we receive an unexpected email, text or phone call.

Take Five To Stop Fraud, launched last month,  is an ongoing national campaign which urges everyone to stop, take a moment and think before handing over our details. It’s when we’re feeling rushed, flustered and out-of-control that we’re most likely to make a simple, yet potentially costly mistake.

According to Take Five, one in four victims of fraud know immediately that they’ve made a mistake.

In 2015, 70% of all potential fraud was prevented in the UK, yet £755m was still lost to financial fraud.

Led by financial Fraud Action UK, the campaign aims to get people in the UK to stop, take a moment and remember five golden rules:

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password

  2. Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic

  3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting

  4. Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right

  5. Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret


Even if someone says they’re your bank, police or another trusted organisation, you can never assume that they are genuine.

Banks and other trusted organisations will never ask you for your security details in an email, on the phone, by text or in writing. Under no circumstances would a bank or organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot; nor would they ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons.

Genuine bank emails will contain your name – be wary of anything that begins with ‘Dear valued customer’ or similar. Hover over any links within emails, to see what the true web address is.

Before you share anything with anyone, stop. Then pause to consider what you’re being asked for and question why they need it. Unless you’re 100% sure who you’re talking to, don’t disclose any personal or financial details.

Fraudsters may try to trick you and gain your confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud. They often use this tactic to draw you into the conversation, to scare you into acting and reveal security details. They can also make any telephone number appear on your phone handset, so even if you recognise the number or it seems authentic, do not assume it is genuine.

If you are not certain that it is the bank calling, call the bank back using a number you know to be correct, preferably using a different phone line. Wait at least five minutes before calling back, or call a trusted friend or family member first to test the line.


  • If you think there has been fraud on your card or bank account – or if you suspect someone has attempted to compromise your financial details – report it immediately to your bank or other financial services provider and then contact Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or on 0300 123 2040.

  • Visit https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/ for more useful help and advice.




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