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Coronavirus Scams in the U.K. You Should be Wary Of

Coronavirus Scams

According to a recent report from BBC News, the bad guys are using the coronavirus pandemic to use social engineering to trick people out of their cash.

UK Finance has warned that scamsters are preying on consumers’ financial fears and has named ten Covid-19 scams the public should be wary of. “Criminals are impersonating trusted organisations like the NHS or HMRC to trick people,” the trade body of UK Finance said.

BBC News noted 10 coronavirus scams to be cautious of, including: 

COVID-19 Financial Support Scams

1. Fake government emails, which look like they are from government departments offering grants of up to £7,500. The emails contain links which steal personal and financial information.

2. Scam emails offering access to “Covid-19 relief funds”, which encourage victims to fill in a form and hand over their personal information.

3. Official-looking emails offering a “council tax reduction”. The emails contain links that lead to a fake government website, which harvests personal and financial information.

4. Benefit recipients are offered help in applying for universal credit, but fraudsters grab some of the payment as an advance for their “services”.

Health Scams

5. Phishing emails claiming that the recipient has been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. They lead to fake websites that are used to steal personal and financial information or infect devices with malware.

6. Fake adverts for non-existent coronavirus-related products, such as hand sanitizer and face masks, which simply take the victim’s cash and send them nothing.

Lockdown Scams

7. Fake emails and texts claiming to be from TV Licensing, telling people they are eligible for six months for free because of the pandemic. Victims are told there has been a problem with their direct debit and are asked to click on a link that takes them to a fake website, which steals their personal and financial information.

8. Emails asking people to update their TV subscription services payment details by clicking on a link which is then used to steal credit card information.

9. Fake profiles on social media sites are used to manipulate victims into handing over their money. Criminals will often use the identities of real people to strike up conversation with their targets.

10. Fake investment opportunities are advertised on social media sites, encouraging victims to “take advantage of the financial downturn”. Bitcoin platforms are using emails and adverts on social media platforms to encourage unsuspecting victims to put money into fake companies using fake websites.

It’s important to ensure your users know how to spot the warning signs of these costly scams. New-school security awareness training can help your organization spot the warning signs, especially as they continue to work from home during this pandemic. 

BBC News has the full story

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New-school Security Awareness Training is critical to enabling you and your IT staff to connect with users and help them make the right security decisions all of the time. This isn’t a one and done deal, continuous training and simulated phishing are both needed to mobilize users as your last line of defence. Request your one-on-one demo of KnowBe4’s security awareness training and simulated phishing platform and see how easy it can be!

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