We have been supporting Take Five to Stop Fraud, a campaign formed to give advice to the consumer on how to avoid financial fraud. It aims to educate people on how best to protect themselves against financial fraud, such as email deception, phone scams and online fraud.

This week, Take Five to Stop Fraud has been appearing in Intu Shopping Centres across the country talking to consumers about financial fraud. The aim is to give you the confidence to challenge so that you won’t fall for increasingly sophisticated scams. Remember, ‘My money, my info, I don’t think so!’.

If you receive a phone call, email or text purportedly to be from a bank or trusted organisation, Take Five and think before you act too hastily. Remember these three key points:

1. Requests to move money: A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account. Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.

2. Clicking on links/files: Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

3.Personal information: Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

I’m hoping no one reading this has been scammed, but if you have, do report it to your bank and to Action Fraud in the first instance, and also share your story to raise more awareness.

I have been working in collaboration and support of Take Five Week. Please see the Take Five website for more advice on avoiding online fraud.