By Lauren Howells

Only 9% of Britons may be able to identify all scam texts and emails, according to research conducted by the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign.

Research contradicted public’s perceptions of how good they were at spotting a scam

Take Five to Stop Fraud invited UK consumers to take a quiz to see whether they could separate scam texts and emails from genuine messages, following a separate survey which revealed that 80% of people thought that they could confidently identify a fraudulent approach.

Out of the 63,000 individuals who took part in the quiz, only 5,942 people answered all eight questions correctly, contradicting the public’s perceptions of how well they can spot a scam.

Consumers could be leaving themselves vulnerable by believing they are “too smart to be scammed”

According to the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign, which is backed by UK Finance, financial institutions and the government, consumers could be leaving themselves vulnerable to financial fraud by believing they are “too smart to be scammed”.

The results of the research were revealed earlier this week, as part of Take Five to Stop Fraud week, launched to help protect consumers from fraud.

£366.4 million was lost to financial fraud in the first half of 2017

According to figures from UK Finance, £366.4 million was lost to financial fraud in the first half of 2017 and a further £101.2 million was lost through authorised bank transfer scams, where criminals trick people into sending money directly from their account into the criminal’s account.

“Criminals are using very sophisticated methods”

Commenting on the findings, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, Katy Worobec 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.”

“Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text”

Take Five has issued three key pieces of advice for consumers to help protect themselves against a scam, including never automatically clicking on a link in an unexpected email or text and not providing personal information when contacted for it. Instead, people are advised to contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

The campaign also reminds the public that a genuine bank or organisation would never contact customers out of the blue to ask for their PIN number.

Those who want to test how good they are at spotting scams can take the test on the campaign’s website.