Fraudsters are using Coronavirus as a way of pretending to pose as genuine organisations that they know people look to for advice, often trying to catch you off guard, and will use urgent or threatening excuses to make you panic, coercing you into following their instructions.
Be vigilant to phone calls, out of the blue, especially those claiming to be from the police or fraud teams that ask you to move your money to another account, or be part of a fraud investigation. Banks would never ask you to do this.
Do not respond to any calls, emails or texts from companies saying that your computer or internet may be compromised, and that they need you to download software or an app so that they can have remote access to your device – especially if they tell you to log into your online banking. Banks would never ask you to do this and you shouldn’t give access to your bank accounts to anyone you don’t know or trust.
Invoice redirection scams
It’s not difficult for fraudsters to find out invoice details and then pose as one of your regular suppliers.
If you receive an email from a supplier telling you an invoice is due for payment and that their account details have changed – be extremely vigilant! The email could be fake or the genuine suppliers email account could have been hacked.
Always contact the supplier directly using a trusted number (such as from their website) to verify the details, and ideally not using the contact details within the email, you could end up speaking to the fraudster!
Paper invoices could also be fake, so again verify with your supplier using trusted contact details, before you send any money.
Take Five to stop fraud
The Take Five national campaign, led by Financial Fraud Action UK and the UK Government, urges everyone to take a moment to think before you act. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take 5 and remember to Stop, Challenge and Protect.
Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Contact your bank immediately (ideally from a different phone) if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
Fraud final reminders
If anybody calls, texts or emails out of the blue requesting personal, business or financial information in relation to Coronavirus, it’s likely to be a scaml Don’t be pressured into doing something you’re not sure about, any legitimate requests will allow you to check it out.
You’ve probably heard there are criminals exploiting the current situation, and our most vulnerable residents are particularly at risk. It’s important to remind people to be vigilant, but also not to share any unverified information, which may serve only to increase people’s anxiety. You can find up-to-date, reliable and relevant information about scams on the social media accounts of: