In these uncertain times, criminals have been using the COVID-19 outbreak to scam members of the public, particularly the most vulnerable.
Action Fraud5 revealed there had been a massive 400% increase in reporting of scams in March – the majority of which related to online shopping scams, with victims purchasing protective products (such as face masks) that failed to arrive.
Other examples involved phishing (or ‘smishing’), where scammers attempt to trick victims into clicking on a malicious link in an email or text message, and lender loan fraud, whereby victims are offered access to quick cash in return for an upfront fee.
The government has issued specific guidance6 reminding people to be vigilant. This can be found here www.gov.uk/government/news/ be-vigilant-against-coronavirus-scams
– Reject offers that come out of the blue – Don’t click on links from senders you don’t know – Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true – Never give out personal details – Take the time to make checks and seek financial guidance. Here to help If you are unsure about any financial opportunities, please contact us first. 5Action Fraud, 2020 6Gov.UK, 2020
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