If your New Year's resolution needs a pick-me-up, why not Take Five?

With January sales now a distant memory and pay day finally come and gone, how many people still remember their New Year's resolution to better manage their money?

One simple step anyone can take to help manage their finances more effectively this year is to visit Take Five - To Stop Fraud and learn how to better protect yourself from fraudsters.

Thousands of people fall victim to fraudsters every year and unfortunately in many cases, due to technical and legal barriers, it is impossible to recover the money lost. The financial services industry invests millions of pounds annually in advanced security systems to block and root out criminals.

One of the latest innovations is the Mule Insights Tactical Solution (MITS), a tracking technology which enables suspicious payments to be tracked as they move between bank and building society accounts. By bringing together payments data from multiple banks and overlaying it using analytics, MITS can accurately pinpoint individual accounts (known as mules) involved in suspected illegal activities. 

Since the launch of MITS late last year multiple, large, well-concealed money laundering rings have been uncovered and shut down.

?This is a significant milestone that will help shut down accounts being used to launder stolen money and act as a further barrier to the perpetrators of fraud,? said Matthew Hunt, Chief Operating Officer at Pay.UK which worked with financial institutions and alongside technology provider Vocalink to introduce MITS to the Faster Payments network.

?Unfortunately, it isn't a silver bullet, and the industry still has lots of work to do. It is a high priority for us, and as fraud becomes more sophisticated, it's more important than ever that consumers also take steps to protect themselves. We support the Take Five initiative as an important part of that.?

So what is the next step for the industry?

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime, UK Finance, said:

?Protecting customers from fraud is a top priority for the finance industry, which is why banks are investing in MITS to help quickly follow and trace stolen money.

?This is another important weapon in tackling fraud, however the law currently prevents firms from automatically or swiftly returning frozen funds to all victims of fraud. As an industry we are looking to work with government and regulators as a priority to resolve this.?

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