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Fraud Prevention


Fraud Prevention

At TMA not only do we want to keep our intermediaries safe, but we also want to help them to keep their clients safe too! With this in mind, we are reminding you of the ‘Take Five’ national awareness campaign which was launched in September 2017.

Have you heard about ‘Take Five’?

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 payments industry, financial services firms, law enforcement agencies, telecommunication providers, commercial, public and third sector, urges you to stop and consider whether the situation is genuine – to stop and think if what you’re being told really makes sense.

There are videos, posters, logos, banners and more which you utilise i.e. in staff training, customer engagement or on the walls in your office.

We genuinely hope you or your customers are never caught out, but prevention is better than cure!

Latest Fraud Trends

Disclosure (insurance) – Accurate disclosure of client circumstances when applying for insurance cover is essential. You must ensure that health; hobby, employment and sporting activities are accurately documented to ensure that cover is provided appropriately, and that any later claims are not adversely affected by inaccurate disclosure.

Manipulation – We are seeing more instances of dubious scenarios whereby a business owner has transferred their company shareholding to someone else, often a family member, just a few months before applying for a mortgage, purporting to be employed. Whilst such situations are a matter of judgement, we recommend considering carefully whether the situation is realistic, or whether the client is attempting to manipulate their circumstance for the purpose of a mortgage application.

Data Input – We cannot stress strongly enough of the need to ensure that accurate client (hard fact) data is collected during the factfind, and that this is accurately positioned to the lender in the application form.

Examples include address history, income and length of employment, and in particular client outgoings. We recommend that you check client bank statements carefully to ensure all client commitments (bills and debt repayments) are reflected accurately in the lender application form. Expenses such as (for example) council tax payments should not be estimated, if necessary checks such expenditure by using the appropriate council website.

Mortgage application fraud – This is still the number one fraud type, usually connected to inflated or secondary incomes, supported by false documentation.

The more recent challenge is that the quality of false documentation constantly improves, and increasingly only wider due diligence checks, or assessing overall plausibility of the situation leads to detection of fraud.

We have recently been alerted about a potential scam whereby limited companies are contacted and left out of pocket.

The concern relates to a company called Commercial Register, a trade name of Direct Publisher S.L.U. based in Madrid.

It suggested that Commercial Register make contact with a business that is registered with Companies House via an official looking letter, which quotes a filing date, and stating hat the recipient company details need to be updated – the recipient could be led to believe that the letter is connected to Companies House.

This is not the case. The sender is attempting to entice the business into paying a €993 fee (or similar amount) to advertise on their website. Once the agreement is signed, the recipient company is bombarded with demands for payment and threats of legal action. It is reported that Commercial Register use aggressive tactics in pursuing funds, hoping that the pressure will convince the business to pay the €993 fee.

In short, be aware of such contact, and be sure to read the small print before signing any agreement.

Click here for more details.

There have been numerous reports of recent Phishing attacks from fraudsters who have been sending out fake emails offering council tax rebates from the HMRC. The links embedded in the emails lead to malicious Phishing websites designed to steal personal information and bank details. HMRC will never send emails about tax rebates/refunds.

As with other forms of Phishing attacks, take some basic precautions: 

  • Do not click on links, download files or open attachments in emails, instant messages, or on Social Media from unknown senders.
  • Legitimate companies never request your logon details or personal information via email.
  • Look out for emails that convey a sense of urgency or panic, fraudsters rely on victims clicking before having thoroughly thought about the situation.
  • Trust your instincts. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Stop and Think

Requests to move money:
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.

Clicking on links/files:
Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

Personal information:
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

Too smart to be scammed? Think again.

Most people think they wouldn’t fall for a fraudulent text or email, but criminals are more sophisticated than even. Take the Take Five test to see if you can find the fraud and know when it’s time to say ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.


Take Five want organisations, businesses and individuals to be able to spread the message and get involved in the campaign, so we can all help protection the nation against financial fraud. Please support Take Five and make use of the campaign material they have on offer.

They have provided three types of materials for flexibility:

  • All materials are available as enditable, print-ready PDFs, which require no specialist software or licensed fonts to use.
  • Many materials have been provided as editable artwork files for those who may wish to change copy or add their own organisation’s logo to endorse Take Five. Please note that the latest design software and licensed fonts will b required to access editable files.
  • They have provided the raw content in Word Documents should you wish to use their messaging to create your own materials. Please refer to the brand guidelines for how to use their endorsement logo.

Click here to go to their Toolkit.


TalkTalk: Beat the scammers

Watch out for scams like this