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.
As part of International Fraud Awareness Week, 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 a bank or other trusted organisation, you still need to take the time to stop and think about what’s really going on.
Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue and Nottinghamshire local councils, all represented on The Safer Nottinghamshire Board, are reiterating the message as part of the global effort to minimise the impact of fraud through further awareness and education.
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.
Also, remember to #Tell2 and simply tell two friends or family members to be mindful of scams too, especially those who you know who may be vulnerable or those who are elderly.
Nottinghamshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper said: “Don’t let a fraudster into your life or those of friends or family via home or mobile phone, the internet, door step or through letters.
“International Fraud Awareness Week is helping people be even more aware how fraud is becoming ever more complex and deceptive.
“Much is targeted at vulnerable and elderly people and you can help them and you stay safe by remembering to end the phone call or exchange that asks for any personal or financial information.
“Take five minutes, make a cup of tea and ask yourself if the questions being asked are genuine.”
Anthony May, Chair of the Safer Nottinghamshire Board said: “Whether over the phone, by text, email or online, even if someone claims they’re the bank or an organisation you know, take five minutes to think about who is contacting you.
“We can all beat financial fraud and do our part in International Fraud Awareness Week by staying calm, taking a breather for five minutes and thinking it through.
“You can play your part by remembering to also #Tell2 and make sure two family or friends are aware of the need to take a step back and think if anyone requests personal or financial information.”