THE personal cost of financial fraud was brought into focus during an event aimed at preventing people becoming the victim of scams.

Around £2million was lost through financial fraud each day of last year, according to a campaign encouraging people to pass on scam prevention tips to their friends and family.

The overall scale nationally in 2016 was £768.8million, an increase on the £755m lost in 2015, Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), whose members include banks and card companies, said.

An event at Santander bank in Blackburn town centre saw police and security experts offer advice and give away hundreds of security devices to shoppers.

Among the giveaways were contactless bank card covers, invisible ink pens, pens to detect forged bank notes and mobile phone security chains which can be attached inside handbags.

Ronnie O’Keefe, the Blackburn town centre crime manager from the Business Improvement District, hosted the ‘Take Five Day’.

Staff in more than 6,800 bank branches talked to customers about simple ways to protect against fraud.

He said: “Myself and police have had some great interaction with hundreds of people today.

“Online crime and other scams are on the increase and we have aimed to give advice and hand out practical items which can help reduce the risk.”

Advice was given on payment card and cheque fraud as well as remote banking fraud, which covers internet banking, telephone banking and mobile banking.

The Take Five campaign encourages people to pause for thought before doing something like replying to an unsolicited email or transferring money.

The campaign focuses on financial frauds directly targeting consumers, such as email deception known as phishing, phone-based scams known as vishing and scams that involve text messages known as 'smishing'.

Such scams often involve a fraudster posing as a legitimate organisation such as their victim’s bank or the police.

Tony Blake, senior fraud prevention officer at the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit, said: “On Take Five Day we are encouraging everyone to share the message that it’s okay to stop and think before sharing any personal or financial details.”