Cybercrime's Advice and Tips Regarding Coronavirus Scams
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Detective Inspector Jim Forster said: “Each week the Force is going to be providing the public with information regarding fraudulent scams which are doing the rounds during the coronavirus outbreak, which could potentially affect people if they are not vigilant.
“Unfortunately a minority of people take advantage in the midst of a crisis and will do anything to scam people out of money.
“Nationally, scams have been sent via text and emails which can include people claiming to be offering ‘important updates’ or pretending to sell masks or antibacterial gels.
“It is important not to click on or open suspicious links and emails; and with more people working from home, is it vital that everyone keeps devices such as laptops, mobiles and tablets up to date with the latest updates.
“One scam which is circulating is aimed at Blue Light Card holders which offer NHS, Emergency Services and Armed Forces with discounts both online and in stores. The email asks members and none members to update their account information, which prompts them to enter their log in details.
“Blue Light have made it clear that they would never ask someone to click a link in an email to update their information and to ignore the email.
“Another scam we have recently become aware of, although we have had no reports yet, is a text scam. The text claims to be from police and tells the victim they are being fined £30 for going out the house three times.
“The text has been sent in a similar format to the government text, which makes it look very believable, but the Force wants to make it clear that this is a scam and police would never send out a fine of this nature via text or email.”
The Force often works in conjunction with partner agencies on a regular basis, such as Trading Standards, Action Fraud, Get Safe Online, National Cyber Security Centre, National Police Chief’s Council and other police forces.
Please be aware of some of the latest national scams:
- A malicious website pretending to be the live map for coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University is circulating on the internet waiting for unwitting internet users to visit the website. Do not download this.
- Bogus emails claiming to have important updates, which once clicked on lead to devices being infection – these are known as phishing emails.
- Learn how to spot suspicious emails on the National Cyber Security Centres website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions and how to protect your devices from a malware attack: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/mitigating-malware-and-ransomware-attacks
Partner agencies are providing regular updates on coronavirus related scams which can be found below:
Action Fraud: https://bit.ly/2Uh3aCL
Trading Standards: https://bit.ly/2Jgwjrr
Get Safe Online: https://bit.ly/2UtOUp6
National Cyber Security Centre: https://bit.ly/2UhaLkJ