People across Nottinghamshire are being asked to take five to stop fraud and ensure they do not fall victim to a fraudulent attack by phone, text, email or online.
Everyone should always take five minutes to reflect and step back from the situation if a phone call, message or online exchange requests personal or financial information.
Even if an individual says they are the bank or other trusted organisation, you still need to take the time to stop and think about what’s really going on.
That’s the message from Rushcliffe Borough Council and partners across the county as part of the national campaign Take Five Week 2023 which runs until April 21 and urges residents to:
STOP – Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
CHALLENGE – Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT – Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
Always take a step back to take the five minutes and follow these key steps to avoid falling victim to fraud:
- 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.
- Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
- If you’re approached with a request for personal information, don’t provide it. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
- Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic. Just because someone knows your basic details such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
- Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud. They can also make any telephone number appear on your phone handset so even if you recognise it or it seems authentic, do not use it as verification they are genuine.
- Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.
- Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. They would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons.
- Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it.
- Stay in control. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Neighbourhoods Dave Banks said: “Take 5 week raises awareness and provides vital information for residents to help protect themselves and fight financial fraud and scams.
“Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.
“To help everyone stay safe from fraud and scams, residents should take the time to stop, think and protect themselves.
“For further advice and support, visit the Take Five website.”