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UK Government Campaign Wants You to Stop! Think Fraud

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Home Office campaign from FCB London tackles the growing issue of fraud awareness

A major new government campaign to transform the fight against Fraud has launched across multiple channels.

Stop! Think Fraud has been created by FCB London for Home Office to tackle the issue of fraud awareness with a single, unified strategy, providing consistent, clear, and robust advice to the public for the first time. It is being backed by leading counter fraud experts and organisations across law enforcement, tech, banking, telecoms and the third sector.

Fraud accounts for around 40% of all crime in England and Wales, with an estimated 3.2 million offences each year. The latest data from the Crime Survey of England and Wales shows it has reduced by 13% over the past year. The estimated cost of fraud to society is £6.8 billion in England and Wales.

Fraud has also more than doubled in Scotland over the past nine years and reports spiked in Northern Ireland during the pandemic, with a decline now being observed.

The evidence led campaign draws on the expertise of leading counter-fraud experts and includes an online fraud hub which will provide concise, simple to follow advice. It will also signpost victims to relevant organisations for further advice and support.

The 40-second campaign film shot by FCB London, will run on television nationwide. It uses examples of scams most of us will recognise ‘a call from your bank to secure your account; a text demanding a customs fee is paid on a parcel we don’t remember ordering – and highlights just how disarming and intrusive fraudsters can be, by having characters pop out of nowhere and deliver their messages in odd, slightly stilted speech.

The tension builds throughout, reflecting how Fraudsters work hard to push you into a ‘hot mindset’ where you are more likely to click on link, send your details or move money.

Despite the cacophony of noise and increased pressure, the protagonist takes a moment to Stop! (and)Think Fraud, demonstrating the importance of reconsidering or double checking as a preventative measure.

The TV campaign, along with social media and radio activity, will run for six weeks. There are also OOH executions, which depict victims of fraud at the moment they were scammed. They use bold portraits, with colourful art direction and costumes, while graphic overlays tell the stories of specific frauds and how they occur.

All the advertising activity points audiences towards a new Stop! Think Fraud website, which provides vital guidance on how to spot scams, stay safe and what to do if targeted, drawing on the expertise of leading counter-fraud experts. It also lets victims know how to report fraud and relevant organisations to contact for further advice and support.

Home secretary James Cleverly said, “Our bold Fraud Strategy is continuing to deliver for the British people.

“This new campaign is a powerful tool to add to our arsenal, which already includes a world-first agreement from tech firms to prevent online fraud and the rollout of a National Fraud Squad that has 400 expert investigators.

“I encourage everyone to stop, take a moment to think about fraud, and share this messaging far and wide.” 

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said, “Fraud ruins lives. Following this advice will give people the best tips to stop fraudsters from stealing their hard-earned cash, and point them towards all the help and information on offer.

“Our Fraud Strategy is successfully turning the tide against fraudsters. This new campaign will share the details we all need to defend ourselves and our friends.”

Emily Whiteaway, senior business director at FCB London, said, “Most people know someone who’s been the victim of a scam, and many of us have seen first-hand the terrible impact it can have. While it can be easy to dismiss some scams, fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated so, taking that moment to pause, can be an effective first step in protecting yourself. This is exactly what the Stop! Think Fraud dramatises!

FCB London worked on the Stop! Think Fraud brief as the Home Office’s retained creative agency. Other agencies supporting the campaign are Story (social & digital), Kindred (PR), = Wavemaker, OMGGOV (media buying and planning, respectively) 23Red (partnerships) and MMC (community).

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