January 31, 2017
  • Carol Vorderman, Donna Air and Rufus Hound attend Scam Academy – part of the Take Five financial fraud prevention campaign led by Financial Fraud Action Take_Five_logo_Endorsement_RGBUK

Carol Vorderman, Donna Air and Rufus Hound have teamed up with Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) for Scam Academy, as part of Take Five (a national campaign to help consumers and businesses stop fraud). Scam Academy aims to make consumers aware of the often simple methods – both emotional and technical – that fraudsters use to glean financial and personal details, with a series of videos reminding people that it pays to stop and ‘Take Five’ before they act.

The three ‘students’ who attended Scam Academy were put through their scamming paces by three experts in the fraud sector – Alexis Conran (BBC’s Real Hustle), Scott McGready (tech consultant) and Tony Blake (Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit). Each student was shown the techniques scammers use to trick people into giving away personal or financial details, highlighting what consumers must watch out for to help them stay safe from fraud.

The three modules, which each feature in a separate video, include:

  • Email scams
  • Text scams
  • Phone scams

All the scams the students went through reflect real-life scams, and the films were created in consultation with the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, a unique pro-active police unit with a national remit, formed as a partnership between Financial Fraud Action UK, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service together with the Home Office.

Tony Blake, from the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit and Scam Academy lecturer said: “Financial fraud is a serious matter. While banks and other financial service providers are working hard to protect their customers, consumers can also play an important part in protecting themselves and helping us to stop financial fraud.

“Through Scam Academy, we want to show how financial fraudsters often use simple techniques to trick people out of their personal details and money. By showing consumers how they could fall victim to common scams – such as email, phone and text – we hope to drive home the message that they can stop scammers in their tracks with one simple action: Take Five before you respond to any financial requests and share any personal or financial details.”

Alexis Conran said: “The ultimate aim of Scam Academy is to highlight that it pays to ‘Take Five’ if you’re ever asked for financial or personal details. If you’re ever unsure, never hesitate to contact the organisation in question. If it’s your bank or your credit card provider, use a number you trust such as the one listed on their website or on the back of your payment card.”

Carol Vorderman said: “As a victim of financial fraud myself, I think Scam Academy is an excellent way to raise awareness of a very serious issue. Personally, I found the number spoofing terrifying and I didn’t realise it could be so convincing. I’ll definitely Take Five in future to double check who it is I’m responding to.”

Donna Air said: “I was shocked by what I learnt at Scam Academy. It was a real eye-opener into the tactics scammers use to get your financial details. Since being at the Scam Academy, I’ve had a conversation with my friends and family about how important it is to ‘Take Five’ when it comes to disclosing financial details.”

Rufus Hound said: “I decided to get involved in the Take Five campaign as my wife and I have been victims of fraud ourselves. I couldn’t believe how far these scammers will go to lure financial and personal details from people. Hopefully this campaign will raise awareness of a serious issue and encourage people to Take Five before they give out any financial and personal details.”

YouTube videos of the Scam Academy modules can be seen here: https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/scam-academy

For further information and advice go to https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/


Notes to Editors

  1. Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK) is responsible for leading the collective fight against fraud in the UK payments industry. Its membership includes banks, credit, debit and charge card issuers, and card payment acquirers in the UK. It provides a forum for members to work together on non-competitive issues relating to financial fraud. Its primary function is to facilitate collaborative activity between industry participants and with other partners.
  2. The Take Five campaign is being primarily funded by FFA UK and its members. Cifas and the City of London Police have also made financial contributions to enable Take Five to happen. The campaign is also being supported through the Joint Fraud Taskforce which is using the collective powers, systems and resources of government, law enforcement and industry to crack down on financial fraud. The Joint Fraud Taskforce exists to help protect the public from becoming victims of fraud and fraud scams, maximising opportunities to stop fraudsters from operating, and to catch and prosecute those who commit fraud
  3. The Take Five campaign is asking consumers to help protect themselves from financial fraud by remembering some simple advice:
  • Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password – it’s never right to reveal these details
  • Don’t assume an email request or caller is genuine – people aren’t always who they say they are
  • Don’t be rushed – a bank or genuine organisation won’t mind waiting to give you time to stop and think
  • Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it
  • Stay in control – have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information