Recently the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau reported the new COVID-19 scam trend and updated figures show that since February 1st there has been 105 reports to Action Fraud with total losses reaching nearly £970,000.
The first report relating to Coronavirus, or COVID-19, was received on 9th February. There were 20 more reports that month. Since then, there have been 46 reports between the 1 March and 13 March, and 38 reports in just four days (14 March – 18 March). According to Action Fraud, the majority of reports came from online shopping scams relating to face-masks, sanitiser and other in-demand products.
Over 200 reports have also been received relating to phishing emails which aim to trick people into opening attachments that could lead to personal information being stolen.
Watch out for scam messages – Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details;·
Shopping online – If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. Where possible, use a credit card to make the payment, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.
Protect your devices from the latest threats – Always install the latest software and app updates to protect devices from the latest threats.
Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.