Be Alert to Scams
There has been a worrying increase in scams and attempted fraud during Covid-19 and we want you to be aware of this.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from a company and asking for any bank details or payments, be very wary. Likewise if you get an email or letter that you were not expecting.
There have also been cases of cold callers where someone comes to your door. A popular scam has been attempts to get people to pay for a coronavirus vaccine. All Covid-19 vaccines are FREE on the NHS.
Law enforcement, government and private sectors partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.
Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud
Scam Marshall's Newsletter for February
Reports from the public have already included online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived and a number of cases have been identified where fake testing kits have been offered for sale.
Criminals are also using Government branding to try to trick people, including reports of using HMRC branding to make spurious offers of financial support through unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages.
This situation is likely to continue, with criminals looking to exploit further consequences of the pandemic, such as exploiting financial concerns to ask for upfront fees for bogus loans, offering high-return investment scams, or targeting pensions.
Huge increases in the number of people working remotely mean that significantly more people will be vulnerable to computer service fraud where criminals will try and convince you to provide access to your computer or divulge your logon details and passwords. It is also anticipated that there will be a surge in phishing scams or calls claiming to be from government departments offering grants, tax rebates, or compensation.
So remember, consumers are urged to: Stop: Challenge: Protect
Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online or by calling 0300 123 2040
To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact email@example.com
0370 496 7622
National Crime Agency- for general enquiries or to verify an NCA officer, available 24/7