Beware of Coronavirus Criminals
Money scams are unfortunately nothing new, but in the coronavirus pandemic, scammers are becoming more inventive.
Here are some warning signs and tips to help you stay safe.
Cyber-fraudsters are targeting cash strapped businesses applying for emergency funds. They are sending emails purporting to be from HMRC asking for bank details to access the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.
Scammers have also posed as the police, issuing fake fines via email for ‘trading unlawfully’ during the pandemic.
Emails and messages which tempt you to disclose passwords or open links are definitely on the rise. There are many reports of messages from HMRC offering ‘goodwill payments’ of several hundred pounds.
Check the source of emails, for example the gov.uk address.
Since schools closed, the Department for Education warned of a scam which was trying to dupe parents into paying fake fines for breaking lockdown rules. It’s easy to fall for these scams.
Danger on your doorstep
Fraudsters are increasingly appearing on our doorsteps too, posing as charity workers, selling hand sanitiser or offering virus tests. Criminals have also been caught pretending to be volunteers willing to shop for the elderly, wanting payment up front. Be vigilant.
Keep your personal information safe
Even if you believe someone is from a legitimate organisation, do not give out your bank details or any personal information.
Savers have also been urged to avoid making pension choices as some phishing emails have targeted investors starved of income.
The Pensions regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority issued a joint statement urging people not to make snap decisions about pension in the crisis.
Get in touch
We have launched Cowgills Tech to provide IT solutions for SME businesses. We can help your business work smarter, taking the pressure off you so you can focus on the successful running of your business. If you would like to talk to someone about how we can assist you with your IT support and staying safe get in touch.
The information was correct at time of publishing but may now be out of date.