Take Five…. for fraud

Take Five

Not to be confused with Jazz musician Dave Brubeck, “Take Five” is a new initiative to counter-act financial fraud, which is increasing at an alarming rate. According to the latest UK financial crime statistics over a million financial fraud crimes were committed in the first 6 months of 2016. As we live in an online, 24/7 culture, that equates to about one every 15 seconds.

You will have certainly had various emails, which look rather obviously like a scam, but increasingly there are emails from businesses and organizations that you probably recognize, often attaching a document, invoice or receipt. In many instances these are viruses, some more harmful than others. Of course if you aren’t expecting an invoice, you might be concerned that you are being sent one erroneously and wishing to correct the matter, but alas, this is part of the scam.

Many email and internet scams, try to imbed a “Trojan Horse” within your computer, which gathers data about what you look at and your keystrokes. This is an attempt to gather access to your contacts (more punters to try) and of course your own personal information so that money can be spent, stolen or extorted.

Pause for thought

The new campaign “Take Five” is essentially an call to pause, to think carefully before you act  – take five seconds to pause. This is because much of the fraud that occurs could be prevented with this very simple strategy. Research has shown that 26% of people continue to provide personal bank details even though they suspect that they should not. 43% said that they shared their details because they felt the person seemed genuine, and 39% said it was because they felt pressured.

Catching you off guard

A staggering 38% of people report that they were busy and wanted to get them off the phone quickly. Of course, the fraudster is also very convincing. Surprisingly, about 37% of people thought they were being scammed during the conversation but still continued with the transaction and almost a quarter (23%) realised after the conversation had finished.

Fear and greed

Most things financial work around two basic dynamics, fear and greed. Fraud is no different; invariably the fraud appears to be helping you, perhaps providing protection for your computer or your bank account. The standard “confidence trick” in all its guises also reveals itself. Some frauds even dupe people into believing that they are assisting with catching a fraudster – playing on your goodwill and sense of social responsibility.

For more information on the Take Five campaign and various frauds please check this website.  For music by Dave Brubeck, well…


Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk