The pandemic ‘is creating a perfect environment for fraudsters to thrive using a range of loathsome tactics’ says Which?, as evidenced by a 400% rise in Coronavirus-related scams reported by City of London Police earlier this year.
The latest tactics include online shopping scams offering counterfeit products, such as fake testing kits and alleged cures for the virus, as well as attempts to enter people's homes by posing as official representatives of organisations, such as banks, police, and the government.
Unsolicited calls or emails are just a few of the ways scammers are trying to get hold of personal details. According to ‘This is money’, by September 2020, fraud victims were ‘losing at least £11.5 million a day as scammers seek to cash in on coronavirus’.
Ways to protect yourself
- Do not give out personal details - bank details, address, existing insurance/pensions/investment details
- Banks and HM Revenue & Customs will never ask for your personal or bank details
- Be wary of unsolicited calls and visitors to your home – callers may claim to be figures of authority, such as the police, HMRC or your bank
- Ignore unsolicited emails or texts with an urgent tone, designed to scare you into clicking on their links and giving your personal details
- Make sure your computer and devices have up to date antivirus software.
Find out more
If you have or know someone who has been scammed, report this to Action Fraud, the UK’s national centre for reporting fraud and cybercrime.