MORE than two thirds of people across the South West are worried about a member of their family falling victim to fraudsters, according to a new poll.

With £768.8m lost to fraud in the UK last year, they may have good reason to be concerned. But industry experts say that a lack of knowledge is ramping up fears unnecessarily.

The same survey also shows that most people have never even discussed the simple steps they can take to protect themselves and those around them.

Last week banks and building societies, including Swindon-based Nationwide, took part in Take Five Day - a national day of fraud awareness raising activity.

Stuart Skinner, Director of Fraud at Nationwide, said: “We’re proud to support Take Five Day. Research shows that people in the South West are worried about themselves and their families falling victim to financial fraud. We’re encouraging people to talk to others and share the Take Five message - to pause and think before they respond to any financial requests or share any personal or financial details.”

Nationwide employees at branches across the country were on hand to answer questions and help local people learn how to better protect themselves from financial fraud.

Leaflets and business cards detailing the top five tips were handed out and we’ve reproduced them below for our readers:

1 - Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password.

2 - Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic.

3 - Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting.

4 - Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right.

5 - Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret.