Be sure of one thing. In these strange and unprecedented times scammers and fraudsters are still out to steal your money. Many of the current scams focus on the coronavirus and are preying on peoples natural health fears.
These are some of the scams to watch out for:
Impersonation scams and emails offering health updates or cures.
Scammers are sending out emails that look like they come from trusted organisations, like the World Health Organisation (WHO). An attachment in the email claims to provide safety measures to combat coronavirus but opening it actually infects your device with malware that monitors your online activity and captures your information.
Claims you are due to receive a tax refund
Criminals are bombarding mailboxes with emails saying you’re entitled to a tax refund due to coronavirus – but it’s a trick. HMRC will never contact you by email to discuss tax refunds, so don’t click or respond. Report emails like this to phishing@HMRC.gov.uk
Watch out for emails, ads, posts, texts or phone calls advertising anything to do with coronavirus – whether it’s for facemasks, vaccines or access to testing kits – any deals that look too good to be true usually are. These approaches are very likely to be a scammer trying to get their hands on your money or personal details – make sure you don’t give them what they want.
And the old favourite trick – Offers to make quick money.
There has been a huge increase in criminals trying to lure people into becoming money mules through ‘get rich quick’ job offers during these uncertain times. If a job ad looks too good to be true – it probably is and the personal consequences of allowing criminals to pay money through your account can be life-changing. Reject any offers of cash to let someone else use your bank account, it’s simply not worth it!
Stay alert to suspicious phone calls, texts or emails from anyone claiming to be from the bank or other trusted organisations. Banks will never ask you to share your full PIN, password, card reader code, one time passcode or to move money from your account.
Never download attachments, software or let anyone remotely log into your computer following a call or email you’ve received out of the blue
If you are ever asked to do any of these things, refuse and contact your Bank immediately using the number on the back of your debit card or a number you trust.
This scam has recently been reported by many bank customers reporting theft from their accounts after responding to fake emails about TV Licence cancellation.
Criminals send fake emails or text messages, pretending to be from the TV Licensing Authority. They want you to click the link to get your phone number and the name of your bank. You will then receive a call from the criminals, pretending to be from your bank’s fraud team and persuaded to move your money to a safe account or give away card reader codes.
Many variations of this scam exist; from bogus COVID-19 fines to the promise of free Supermarket shopping vouchers.
Stay safe and keep your money safe!