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Only 9% of people can spot a scam, new research reveals

People are usually confident they can spot a scam when it comes to their money but, according to new research, very few people can actually effectively spot a fraudulent approach.

The shocking information comes courtesy of people surveyed as part of Take Five Week, which runs from January 22 to 26, to educate people on how to protect themselves from fraud.

According to the Daily Mail, four-fifths (80%) of more than 2,300 people believe they could identify a fraudulent approach – but a separate test of over 63,000 people revealed that less than one in 10 (9%) scored full marks in the Take Five Too Smart To Be Scammed? quiz.

The quiz shows people example texts and emails and asks them to determine whether they think they’re from a genuine organisation or they’re a scam.

Examples include an email which asks the recipient to click on a link and another which urges them to transfer their money into a “safe” account – both scenarios which banks would never ask their customers to do.

According to figures from UK Finance, £366.4 million was lost to financial fraud in the first half of 2017 alone, while a further £101.2 million was lost through authorised bank transfer scams.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “Criminals are using very sophisticated methods, so it’s more important than ever that people are aware of how to protect themselves from fraud. During Take Five to Stop Fraud Week we want to spread the message that you should always question any calls, texts or emails asking for your details out of the blue.

“Stop and think before you give away any information, no matter how legitimate the person sounds – and remember – it’s My Money? My Info? I don’t think so. If you are unsure, then hang up and don’t reply and contact the organisation directly on a number you trust.”

Here are tips from the Take Five campaign to spot fraud:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

4. If you’re approached with a request for personal information, do not provide it. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

If you are struggling with debt, Money Advisor may be able to help. Find out how we can help you reduce your repayments and advise on a range of financial repayment options. Contact us today for expert, confidential advice with no obligation.

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