Starling Bank is committed to help protect all its customers against fraud. That’s why we signed up to the Take Five Charter. And that’s why we are supporting Take Five Week (9 - 13 March), a national campaign to help people stay safe from financial fraud.

It’s "take five" because if you see anything you are at all suspicious of, you should always take a few minutes and think before you proceed. Starling’s financial crime specialist, Sarah Lenette explains.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Take Five - this is a UK wide campaign that offers straightforward advice to help prevent email, phone based and online fraud. It’s led by UK Finance and backed by the Government. It’s delivered with and through a range of partners in the UK payments industry, as well as financial services firms, law enforcement agencies, telecommunication providers and others.

Here at Starling Bank, we believe in doing everything we can to help you keep your money safe. Signing the Take Five Charter is one more way to help provide you with the knowledge you need to protect your hard earned cash. By working alongside Take Five, we are combining our efforts with others across the financial sector to help tackle fraud.

Technology is powerful. And I am lucky enough to see this first hand, here at Starling. By many, it is considered a force of good - driving continuous improvement in day to day life. Unfortunately, from time to time it can also be misused by fraudsters, who are increasingly turning to sophisticated techniques to convince you to let your guard down.

Those of you familiar with Starling Bank financial crime blog posts will be aware that there are a variety of scams out there designed to make you part with your money. But, it is also important to keep an eye out for emerging scams, fraudsters will attempt to utilise any viable opportunity for their personal benefit. If you see something that doesn’t look right, always pause to think before you do anything else.

For example, in the build-up to Take Five Week, unscrupulous individuals have been using the publicity surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) to prey on unsuspecting members of the public, by posing as genuine organisations or law enforcement, in order to obtain money fraudulently.

Remember – Starling Bank or law enforcement will never ask you to transfer money to a ’safe’ account, or withdraw money for ’safekeeping’.

There are several things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, from becoming victims of fraud. Here are a few questions to ask yourself, when you’re asked for money or information.

  • Is the person you are speaking with genuinely who they say they are? Don’t be embarrassed to contact that person via a different method to be sure
  • Have you been asked to send money out of the blue? If so, that could be a danger sign
  • Does the request sound reasonable?
  • Are you being rushed or pressured into making a decision or completing a payment?

If you’ve asked yourself these questions and still feel uncomfortable or unsure about what you’re being asked, remember to ‘take five’ and think it over. Never hesitate to contact your bank or financial service provider on a number you trust, such as the one listed on their website or on the back of your payment card.

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