Yesterday I looked in my junk email folder. I do this occasionally to ensure legitimate messages have not been caught up in the spam filters internet providers operate. I noticed something new, amongst the usual dubious subject matter used to tempt the unsuspecting, there were countless emails suggesting I should be using my time at home, not catching up with jobs around the house, but trading bitcoin.
Looking beyond my own experience it seems coronavirus-themed scams have exploded in number.
Reports tell of fake products such as sanitisers, masks and virus swabbing kits being sold both on and off-line. Requests for bogus charitable donations, even offers made on the doorstep to run errands for the elderly and vulnerable are growing.
Action Fraud have received many reports of phishing emails attempting to fool the unsuspecting into opening malicious attachments or providing sensitive personal and financial information. These are their usual objectives but now they are cloaked in Covid-19 related lures; including access to secret vaccines, World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance, tax refunds and donations toward the search for a vaccine.
Right now while our world feels greatly changed, the advice for protecting yourself from fraud has not:
- If an offer feels too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be sceptical about information from unknown sources.
- Avoiding clicking links on unsolicited emails.
- If you are asked to provide personal or financial details by an unexpected caller or online request – don’t.
If you think you are being targeted by a scam contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.
The contents of the article have been prepared solely for information purposes. The article contains information on financial products and services and such information is designed for and addressed solely to individuals seeking generic industry information.