British F1 driver Jenson Button has taken the wheel of Santander’s Phish & Chips van - serving fish and chips to the public in exchange for phishing emails and dodgy mobile texts.
The Phish & Chips van has been touring the nation to raise awareness of scam messages - serving over 3,000 portions of fish and chips to the public.
The bank rolled out the attraction after conducting research which revealed an estimated 600 million scam attempts were made in the UK over email, text and telephone in the last 12 months - the equivalent of over 1.6 million scam messages each day.
Of the 74% of British adults that Santander UK’s research shows have been targeted by scammers almost two thirds have received a phishing email, 23% a phishing SMS and just over one in 10 a cishing telephone call.
Over a quarter (27%) believed the communications to be genuine, and seven per cent subsequently fell victim to the scammers, seeing their identities stolen, money withdrawn from their accounts and fraudulent payments made on their credit cards.
Reza Attar-Zadeh, head of customer experience at Santander UK, comments: “Consumer awareness is absolutely key to tackling what is currently one of the biggest threats to the security of people’s finances. Our Phish & Chips van is a way of delivering our three key fraud prevention messages in an engaging way while educating people that both banks and consumers have a role to play in keeping the fraudsters at bay.”
Jenson Button is a brand ambassador for Santander and has previously made a guest appearance in other guerilla marketing campaigns for the bank. In 2015 Button spent a day in the build up to Christmas hidden in a specially designed ATM in a Santander branch in Windsor. Unsuspecting customers who pressed the machine's Jenson 'Button' got a shock as a hatch opened up to reveal the former world champion bearing £100 in cash and a hamper.
On his honorary new role as a scam fighting purveyor of fish and chips Button says: "It was a lot of fun being part of the tour and serving fish and chips to the public in exchange for their scam emails. It’s been eye opening to see how many people receive these emails every day.”
Santander's road trip coincides with a new campaign from Barclays, which has seen the bank stage a series of 'Embarrassing Fraud Clinics' across the country where consumers can have a ‘digital health check’ alongside personalised advice on protecting against potential cyber threats.