Tax & admin · 6 November 2017

Jenson Button serves up Phish & Chips in return for your scam emails and texts

Jenson Button
Jenson Button: “It’s been eye opening to see how many people receive these emails”

British F1 driver Jenson Button has jumped behind the wheel of Santander’s “Phish & Chips” van, as part of a UK-wide effort to educate people about fraud.

Given the unique task of serving fish and chips to the public in exchange for their phishing emails and SMS “smishing” text messages, Button is visiting central London on Monday 6 November.

The F1 driver is throwing his weight behind the Phish & Chips campaign in his role as Santander’s brand ambassador.

Santander launched the campaign after fraud research revealed that around 600m scam attempts were made via email, text or phone call in the last year – equal to more than 1.6m attempts every day.

In his new role as a fraud fighting server of fish and chips, Jenson Button said: “Being behind the wheel of the Phish and Chip van around London is certainly a different driving experience.

Button takes the wheel of the Phish and Chips van
Button takes the wheel of the Phish and Chips van

“It was a lot of fun being part of the tour and serving fish and chips to the public in exchange for their scam emails. It’s been eye opening to see how many people receive these emails every day!”

The Phish & Chips van has already travelled the length and breadth of the country, serving up more 3,000 portions of fish and chips in exchange for phishing emails and texts so far.

The UK is in the midst of a phishing scam epidemic. According to Santander’s research, some 74 per cent of Brits have at some point been targeted by fraudsters with phishing emails, smishing texts or vishing (video) calls.

Last year, each individual targeted by a scam received 16 fraudulent emails, texts or calls on average, the research revealed.

Commenting on the statistics, Santander’s UK head of customer experience, Reza Attar-Zadeh, said it was vital that consumers became more aware of the size and extent of Britain’s fraud problem.

She added: “Awareness is absolutely key to tackling what is currently one of the biggest threats to the security of people’s finances. Santander takes the fight against fraud very seriously – we have seen the life changing impact it can have on people’s lives.”

Visiting London On Monday 6 November, Jenson Button and the Phish & Chips van will be parked over lunchtime on Cathedral Walk in Cardinal Place, SW1E 5JE.

Attar-Zadeh went on to say: “Our Phish & Chips van is a way of delivering our three key fraud prevention messages in an engaging way while educating people that both banks and consumers have a role to play in keeping the fraudsters at bay.

“Phishing has been around for a number of years, originating with emails that were unsophisticated and obviously fraudulent. However, today phishing emails have evolved.

“They can appear in inboxes as convincing and genuine communications from consumer brands, but there are signs to look out for such as spelling mistakes, generic greetings rather than your name and suspicious looking email addresses.”

Three tips on avoiding becoming a victim of phishing scams

(1) Never share your PIN number or online banking password with another person, not even bank staff

(2) Never download software or let anyone log on to your computer devices remotely during or after a cold call

(3) Never enter online banking details after clicking on a link in an email or text message

HMRC reveals fraudulent email red flags

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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