I recently attended an event for Take Five to Stop Fraud organised by Mumsnet. Take Five is a national awareness campaign led by FFA UK (part of UK Finance), backed by Her Majesty’s Government and delivered with and through a range of partners in the UK. The idea of this campaign is to help people to understand how scams work, what type of scams are out there and to stop and think before we give any information or money to strangers. The scams are so clever nowadays that sometimes it can be hard to spot them. We already know the basic things such as never giving away any Pins or Passwords but the truth is that when things are happening you can forget about everything you know very quickly.
I learned a lot at the event and I was very grateful to now be able to spot a scam quicker thanks to Take Five. They really want to make people aware of this and spread their advice all over the country so hopefully, together we can stop the fraudsters from taking advantage of people. That is why I was very happy to be asked to be part of their new campaign which takes place during this week which is TakeFive Week. Banks, organisations, other influencers and campaign partners are also participating. There is a week full of activities and very important and useful information is being shared with everyone so we can all learn as much as we can about this big issue.
There are so many ways to be scammed nowadays such as through the phone which is known as vishing (or voice phishing), through a text message which is known as smishing and through emails which are known as phishing. There are also so many other ways to scam people online as well as methods you perhaps didn’t know before so I really encourage you to go through their website and browse all the advice, and examples they have so you can prevent this happening to you.
As part of the campaign, I am sharing Five Tips to consider before and whilst travelling to prevent being a victim of a fraud or scam. You all know that I love travelling and I have a specific category of Travel on my blog because of that. These are a few tips I have picked up that are good to have in mind if you are thinking of or about to go away. I thought it would be nice to share these tips with you.
Please see below my Five Tips for Take Five week:
1. Book Holidays Directly with Airlines, Hotels or Reputable Agents
Found a great holiday deal? Think twice before you book a deal that seems too good to be true. Fraudsters are using fake online ads, fake booking websites, emails, text messages and calls offering amazing deals to tempt you to book a holiday with them. To avoid being left out of pocket and stuck at home, book your travel directly with an airline or hotel, or through a reputable agent. Check whether they’re a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
2. Tell Your Bank You Are Travelling
Telling your bank before you travel about where and when you will be going can help you in two ways. Firstly, genuine payments in the country you are visiting will be less suspicious and so not blocked, but also transactions in locations you aren’t visiting or taking place outside of the travel dates are more likely to be seen as suspicious.
3. Avoid Public Wifi When Travelling
We all love free wifi, but public wifi hotspots can be vulnerable to cybercriminals and, if you’re planning to make use of social media, sensitive email accounts or accessing online banking while abroad you should either use a secured connection or data from your own mobile plan. Consider buying a local SIM if using data on your own is too expensive. Remember, if you need to use a laptop, many smartphones have a tethering/personal hotspot option to allow you to use it from another device.
4. Keep Your Cards In Sight
Don’t allow your card out of your sight. Be careful where you leave any bags, wallets or purses. Leaving a card in a bag on a beach chair whilst you take a swim isn’t a good idea. Also, watch your card when you give it to someone else. Card skimmers can be used by fraudsters to take your credit card information in seconds. Your card can be swiped, the data stolen in moments before it is handed back to you. It’s not practical to watch your card every second, so if the card leaves your sight, elevate your account-monitoring efforts.
5. Beware of Cash Machines
If you need to use a cash machine whilst travelling to withdraw money, make sure you pay close attention to all of your transactions. Never let anybody see you entering your PIN and if anyone approaches you or tries to talk to you whilst waiting to use a cash machine it’s probably better to walk away and find another machine. Always check that the machine doesn’t look like its been tampered with, as some scams involve modifying machines with a card skimmer or other device to jam your card.
Finally, I’d like to add that it is a good idea to verify your transactions when you are back home or when you are certain it is safe to do so to be sure there are no unexpected payments or withdrawals from your accounts.
I hope you find these tips useful, and perhaps next time you travel you can bookmark these as a reminder. I feel very excited to be able to support a campaign like this. The more people we can reach the better! Hopefully, we will be able to improve the fight against Fraud! Please also do not forget to check out the advice and tips provided by Take Five.
Do you have any tips that you do before or whilst travelling to prevent fraud? Have you, or anyone you know, been a victim of any kind of scam? Have you spotted and prevented a scam before?
*Disclosure: This is a collaboration with Take Five, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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