Whilst members of the general public and our incredible public services are showing us the very best of the goodness and kind gestures that have come out of the coronavirus outbreak, the cybercriminals have chosen to show us the very worst.
Please be vigilant. We have compiled a list of just a few of the scams that are circulating, concentrated on the coronavirus/ Covid-19 pandemic.
Fake ‘test and trace’ scams
If you’re contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service, you will not be asked to provide any passwords, bank account details or pin numbers.
— NHS (@NHSuk) May 31, 2020
https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1279399562617278464 – NHS ‘track and trace’ security post
If you are contacted by anyone claiming to a part of the ‘track and trace’ service, please remember that they will never ask you for:
- Payment of any kind.
- Details about your bank account.
- Password or Pins.
- Or ask you to download anything.
Coronavirus Phishing emails:
As we mentioned in a previous blog, there are various phishing emails being targeted at unsuspecting people. The topics of the phishing emails include:
- Offering “additional information about COVID-19”
- Convincing you buy a book on how to survive the pandemic
- Asking for donations to a fake charity.
- An email from your “manager” instructing you to watch a seminar.
If you see any emails like these or similar, please be overly cautious and don’t click any links.
Report the emails to your IT company or to Action Fraud on firstname.lastname@example.org.
2,866 victims of coronavirus-related scams have lost over £11.3 million
UPDATE⚠️: 2,866 victims of coronavirus-related scams have lost over £11.3 million.
As of the 8th of July, Action Fraud had received 13,820 reports on phishing emails. Out of these emails, a total of 2866 victims have become victim to coronavirus-related scams.
A total of £11,316,266 has been stolen by cyber criminals from these victims.
Fraud warning from the Crown Prosecution Service:
We are aware of scammers claiming to be from @HMRCgovuk offering financial support as a result of coronavirus.
If you receive a text, email or call claiming to be from HMRC that asks you to click on a link or give info such as your name, credit card or bank details, it’s a scam. pic.twitter.com/pVs3SOwgth
— Action Fraud (@actionfrauduk) July 20, 2020
The Crown Prosecution service has released a fraud warning after a 20-year-old man has been jailed due to him sending more than a thousand texts, claiming to be a Government authority providing refunds. The total loss of his victims was £10,019.17.
An example of the text he said is as follows:
“‘UKGOV: You are eligible for a Tax Refund as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please fill out the following form so that we can process your refund.”- Source: Action Fraud
Computer software support service fraud:
People are receiving cold calls and unsolicited emails offering help with a device or to fix a problem.
With many of us working from home during lockdown, we are urging people to be wary of cold calls or unsolicited emails offering you help with your device or to fix a problem.
— Action Fraud (@actionfrauduk) June 30, 2020
When being contacted about help with a computer/IT issue, make sure you have looked into the company and checked that they are legit (i.e they have a website, a phone number and a company’s house profile).
We will be releasing another part to this rundown as there are new scams coming to light on an almost weekly basis, make sure you are following our social channels and/or are on our mailing list to receive these security updates.