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Newsletter Issue 03

The coronavirus scams you need to know about

Reports of Coronavirus-related scams have been rife for weeks now. According to Action Fraud, £2 million has been lost to coronavirus scams since February this year. Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to get their hands on cash and are preying on people's vulnerabilities during this unsettling time.

Fraudsters are using text messages, social media posts, online advertisements, phone calls and even doorstepping to defraud their unsuspecting victims.

Please look out for the following:

1. Netflix Scams - scammers are sending out email that appear to be from Netflix, asking the recipient to update their payment details. The email contains a link that leads to a web page where you can enter credit or debit card details. However, it’s a bogus website and if financial details are being sent straight to the scammers. Never click on links in the email.

2. Fake News - Covid-19 related scams and fake news have got so bad that the UK Government has set-up a rapid response team to work with social media companies to remove any fake news relating to Covid-19. Stemming the spread of misinformation relating to Coronavirus is extremely important after online reliability tool NewsGuard highlighted just how often fake news is being shared on social media platforms compared to genuine information.

3. Nuisance Messages - The crackdown on mis-information comes after screen shots have been circulating on social media and WhatsApp supposedly of further text messages sent by the UK Government.

4. Phishing emails – These include health scams and financial scam where scammers are jumping on the bandwagon trying to 'sell' customers protective equipment that never shows up. As well as fraudulent sellers offering face masks, hand gel and other cleaning staples that never arrive. All these scams have one thing in common, and they encourage the recipient to hand over email passwords, debit and credit card details or even open malicious attachments.

5. Doorstepping - Thieves have also started knocking on doors claiming to be from the NHS or local GP surgeries offering tests for Covid-19. There is no such initiative being run, they are simply trying to take advantage.


Hugh Vivian

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