It’s surely the most audacious thing about fraud that it’s often specifically targeted at older people.

Evolving technology and constantly shifting methods used by criminals means it’s so very hard to keep on top of all the potential fraudulent approaches and scams out there.

If you’re not particularly tech savvy, this can make it even tougher. Even consumers who are confident and have read all about the latest scams can be caught out as criminals deploy more sophisticated methods. This is why the 65+ age group can be so vulnerable to these despicable thieves.

Me at the Take Five Week roadshow at the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex earlier this week

Did you know UK card losses to fraudsters totalled £768 million last year – ouch! I’m sure we can all agree none of us can afford to lose money when budgets are stretched tightly as it is.

That’s why it’s great to see Take Five – a national campaign that offers advice to help consumers prevent financial fraud – running Take Five Week to raise awareness of fraud. The campaign is reminding people how they can protect themselves and not hand over personal or financial information. Instead, take five, stop and think ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so’.

Today it’s all about spreading the message as far and wide as possible. So it’s not just about reminding yourself to take five, but having a conversation with friends and family as well.

So I’ve been taking five and telling five in order to spread the message far and wide. I took time out to talk fraud with my family. It wasn’t all about the doom and gloom of crime, we also had a chat about what their perfect idea of taking five is.

What I loved about the results was everyone knew straight away what their ideal way to take five would be. It’s clear our time is precious no matter what we do every day, and getting the chance to do something we love is like gold dust.

Check out what my family had to say:

My mum


Perfect way to take five? Listening to a podcast such as Women’s Hour or a drama such as The Archers.

Have you experienced a fraudulent approach before? How did they contact you and what did you do? We used to get cold calls attempting to pry our bank details from us all of the time however we no longer get these as much. Now it’s more over email.

I often remind my parents to be careful about emails and advise them not to click any links from messages they’re unsure about.

My parents Chris and Angela with their youngest grandchild

My dad


Perfect way to take five? Sitting down and relaxing with a glass of wine to read a book on my Kindle. Or I like to have a scan through the offerings on Netflix to add some new shows or movies to my list.

Have you experienced a fraudulent approach before? How did they contact you and what did you do? I sometimes receive calls from someone claiming my PC has been hacked and they need to remotely look at it for me in order to make sure it’s safe. I keep them on the phone for as long as possible and play dumb. Then I tell them I actually have a Mac and end the call. It wastes their time too that way!

My grandparents

Ann and Jack

Perfect way to take five? Sitting down together to do a crossword puzzle. We like to do this every day with our newspaper.

Have your experienced a fraudulent approach before? How did they contact you and what did you do? We received a cold call from a person claiming to be from our bank. They were trying to sell a one-time investment and said we had only days to make a decision. They were very pushy and we didn’t feel comfortable so checked it our with our bank branch, who had no knowledge of the offer. We were so relieved we didn’t take the conversation any further.

My uncle


Perfect way to take five? It’s a hard decision between sitting down to relax in front of the TV and having a workout. I know what I should be doing!

Have your experienced a fraudulent approach before? How did they contact you and what did you do? I’ve experienced many fraudulent approaches and they seem to change all of the time. Most are via email but I get a lot of calls on the mobile too. It’s hard to know what to do to stop it, so I just try to ignore it.

I would encourage everyone to have the same conversations with their own family. If we can talk about this problem, we can remind ourselves to be that bit more savvy and remember to question something when it doesn’t seem quite right.

There are lots of tips over on the Take Five website on how to spot fraud and what to do if you have been targeted.

Also check out my other blog Take Five blog posts here:

Take Five to fight fraud

20 five-minute activities to do with a toddler

What’s your ideal way to spend five minutes when you have the spare time? A quick recipe? A favourite podcast? Let me know in the comments. 



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