Cases of financial fraud have increased by more than 50% year-on-year with more than one million incidents reported in the first half of 2016, latest figures from Financial Fraud Action (FFA) have shown.

Reported fraud across the country increased 53% in the opening six months of the year to 1,007,094 cases compared to 660,308 cases during the same period in 2015. These figures account for fraud involving payment cards, remote banking and cheques.

In response to these statistics, FFA has joined forces with major banks and financial services providers to launch a national campaign to tackle fraud.

The campaign, 'Take Five', is focused on fraud that directly target customers, such as email, phone and text based scams (sometimes known as phishing, vishing and smishing). The aim of the campaign is to encourage consumers to stop and think before they carry out transactions, or give away sensitive information.

The campaign, which echoes advice outlined by in our Stop Scams guide, calls for consumers to...

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password - it’s never right to reveal these details
  2. Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine - people aren’t always who they say they are
  3. Don’t be rushed – a bank or genuine organisation won’t mind waiting to give you time to stop and think
  4. Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it
  5. Stay in control have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information

'As banks’ systems get more advanced, fraudsters turn their attention elsewhere'

Katy Worobec, director of FFA UK, said: “Banks and other financial service providers work hard to protect their customers, using highly sophisticated security systems. 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.

"Alongside the banks, people can also play an important part in helping us to stop financial fraud and protect themselves. 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.”

Recent research, carried out by Censuswide, has shown that more than a quarter (26%) of the 3,155 people surveyed admit they would hand over personal details to someone claiming to be from their bank even if they were unsure.

The most common reason for respondents sharing their details was because they felt the person seemed genuine (43%) while almost four in ten (39 %) said it was because they felt pressured. Almost four in ten (38%) also said it was because they were busy/in the middle of something and wanted to get them off the phone quickly.

Backing the campaign, Ian Dyson, commissioner at City of London Police, said: “Fraud and cyber-crime account for nearly half of all crime according to the British crime survey and this campaign is aimed at giving people the confidence to think before they act.

"Pausing for that short moment and asking ourselves, 'is this the safe thing to do', will go a long way to thwarting the fraudsters that prey on people's trusting nature. This campaign is one element of the Joint Fraud Taskforce bringing together law enforcement, Government and business to tackle the increase in crime that blights every community across the country.”