Fraud Prevention Tips in Relation to National Reports of Coronavirus Fraud
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City of London Police, the national lead for fraud, have released some figures in relation to fraud linked to coronavirus.
Over £800k has been scammed from victims nationally so far. Ten of the 21 reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers.
Fraudsters have also claimed to be from research organisations via email who claim to be able to provide the recipient with a list of coronavirus infected people in their area. To access this information it requires the victim to click on a link, which leads to a malicious website, or they are asked to make a payment in bitcoin to view the list.
Cleveland Police’s Economic Crime Detective Inspector, Jim Forster said: “Although we have had no reports of fraud in relation to coronavirus in the Cleveland area, the figures are expected to rise nationally, and the Force would like to take this opportunity to warn people regarding fraud.
“Unfortunately fraudsters take advantage in situations like this and target vulnerable people. We would strongly advise people to follow the below steps which may help to prevent you from becoming a victim of fraudulent crime.”
Watch out for scam messages – do not click on links or attachments from suspicion emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
Shopping online – be cautious when shopping online, purchase items from reputable websites or carry out some research first. Ask for advice from a family member or friend if you haven’t bought from a particular website before. If you decide to a make a purchase, use a credit card, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.
Keep software and app updates up to date to protect your devices such as laptops and phones from the latest threats.
Door to door fraud – Potential fraudsters may knock on your door by offering to help people who are self-isolating by offering to do their shopping. Never hand over your money or bank cards to people you do not know or trust. If someone knocks at your front door claiming to be from a company, first check their ID. If you’re not happy, don’t let them in. Never call the phone number on their ID card to check them out. Ask the salesperson to wait outside, shut the door and find the company number on the internet. If they’re genuine, they’ll understand.