Monday 27 April 2020

Coronavirus-related frauds increase by 400% in March

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 (e.g. your bank or HMRC) and the police.

Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe

Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Social Engineering
Social Engineering is defined as “The clever manipulation of the natural human tendency to trust.” It’s easier to trick you into opening an infected email than it is to hack into your account. Due to this, social engineering has become much more prominent, and cyber criminals are trying more diverse ways to get people to undertake tasks, provide information or hand over money using these techniques.

Types of social engineering;
  • Phishing – fraudulent emails sent by cyber criminals pretending to be someone else, for example a bank, NHS or government department. The aim of the email is to install malicious software on your device or obtain Personal Identifiable Information including login credentials.
  • Spoofing – is the act of disguising a communication from an unknown source as being from a known, trusted source. This can apply to emails, phone calls and websites.
  • Smishing – fraudulent text messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to get individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or financial details.
  • Vishing – criminals making phone calls or leaving voice messages pretending to be from reputable organisation in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information such as bank details and credit card numbers.
How to protect yourself:
  • Don’t assume a call, text or email is genuine.
  • Never provide financial or personal details to a caller.
  • Don’t click on website links or download attachments in unexpected texts or emails.
  • Phone numbers and emails can be changed (spoofed) and are not proof of identity.
  • Challenge every request for your information, money or details.
  • Double check requests for your details and verify via a trusted source.
The police can’t stop crime if it doesn’t know it's happening
Even if you didn’t lose money, you should still report every instance of fraud or cyber crime you’re targeted by. Every report assists police investigations, disrupts criminals, and reduces harm. Reports are also used to identify crime trends and create awareness campaigns to help protect people against them.
Report online at or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.

Useful websites:

Don’t assume your friends and family know the latest scams. Tell2 of them offline and play your part in disrupting criminals!

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