The fight against fraud

The campaign brought encouraging news to the UK public with new figures revealing that overall credit and debit card fraud continued to decline from January to June 2006. APACS, the UK payments association, reported that total card fraud in the UK was down by 5% in this period, mainly thanks to the success of chip and pin.

But APACS wanted to look beyond this and continue to raise awareness of the ways in which the general public could help reduce card fraud further and protect themselves from being victims, especially in the run up to Christmas when online shopping was set to break all records. Extensive statistics, well informed APACS spokespeople who were prepared to be on hand for live early breakfast time interviews, and a powerful advisory message all helped to make this campaign another great success.

The target audience for the campaign was broad with everyone who uses a credit or debit card being able to benefit from the advice. Using both online and radio platforms gave us a large potential audience and an efficient means of putting across even complex messages. Short facts and statistics made ideal material for newsrooms whilst the more expansive advice on avoiding fraud could be effectively used for feature programmes on radio and as the basis for a half hour WebTV programme featuring APACS’ Mark Bowerman and Richard Martin.

The webTV programme allowed APACS to put across their key messages whilst also answering individual questions from viewers wanting to know more. Of course, one of the great advantages of this sort of programming is that it can be viewed anytime ‘on demand’ if people missed it when it was first broadcast live.Click here to view the show and the transcript. As you can see, Mark and Richard brought in a fake cashpoint front which had been installed by fraudsters in a phishing scam. Combining this with undercover video footage of the fraudsters in action made for strong TV which really drove the vigilance message home.

The coverage across both radio and online was impressive. At least 67 UK radio stations covered the story, with a combined weekly reach of over 18 million and more than 9 hours of airtime. Stations included IRN, BBC Radio 5 Live, LBC and Heart and a series of major commercial and local BBC stations.

Online 15 independent sites trailed the Web TV programme, all ran it live simultaneously and then offered it on demand. These included many of the UK’s leading financial sites – AOL Money, This Is Money and Money Extra as well as leading ISPs Tiscali, ntl and Supanet. APACS own two sites –  and  – both did the same. The 15 sites had a combined monthly unique user figure of over 20 million and the editorial text advertising the programme both before and after it ran live amounted to a staggering 500+ days.