Posted on: Tuesday 14 July 2020
With many of us spending more time online, either staying in touch with loved ones, shopping for essentials or work, criminals are hard at work trying to lure us into revealing our personal and business information.
As of 19th June 2,378 victims reported a loss of £7,099,441 to Action Fraud, due to coronavirus related scams.
Below are a list of the current scams we’ve seen circulating online for you to look out for:
- Phishing emails claiming to be from companies such as HMRC, Amazon Prime, WHO, British Gas and Netflix: These emails will be arriving in your inbox playing on fears threatening to close your accounts unless payment is made through a link. Please don’t click on any of the links sent to you or download attachments in unexpected emails, use your own route such as a trusted number or website to verify contact. You can also now forward suspicious emails to email@example.com.
- NHS Test and Trace: It’s important to remember that NHS Test and Trace will never ask you for any form of payment or for a password/pin or even send someone to your home. Please ignore any of these requests and report to Action Fraud.
- Online Shopping and Auction Fraud: Over £16 million has been lost to online shopping fraud during lockdown, with people aged 18-26 most at risk. Victims have reported buying items on sites such as eBay, Facebook and gumtree that never arrive. There has also been cases of deposits false adverts for puppies and kittens resulting in the victim putting down deposits online due to restrictions viewing in person, to then never hear from the seller again. When buying online make sure you trust the site or seller.
- Mandate Fraud: As more people work from home due to #COVID19, fraudsters may try to get you to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, to divert funds to their bank account, by purporting to be an organisation you make regular payments to.
With restrictions beginning to ease and the idea of a nice sunny break looking very appealing, remember to also be on the lookout for holiday scams including fake caravan and motorhome listings, refund offers and travel deals, as criminals take advantage of uncertainty around coronavirus travel restrictions and cancellations to target their victims and commit fraud.
Please take action and report any suspicious activity by visiting the Action Fraud website - https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
To find out more and keep up to date with latest scams follow the Gwent Police Twitter page @GpCyberCrime. Stay #ScamAware and #Tell2 to protect others.