With the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, criminals are playing on people’s confusion to try new scams. Many claim to offer services and products relating to Covid-19, to trick innocent customers into parting with personal information and their money. So here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim.
Scams to look out for:-
Purchase scams offer protective equipment, sanitising products and other desirable goods for sale, that you will never receive. Be careful paying for anything via bank transfer and only buy goods from reputable companies that you know and trust.
Smishing is sending text messages that appear to come from a trustworthy source like the UK government or even your own doctor which try to steal personal or financial information. If you doubt the text’s authenticity, don’t click links. Visit www.gov.uk to check any information given. Verify an organisation’s phone number from their website or from old printed correspondence.
Phishing is sending emails which try to make you divulge sensitive personal or financial information. They may appear to be Covid-19 tax refunds, reimbursements from travel bookings, safety advice via email and even donation requests. Fraudsters will try to make you click on links that aren’t safe. So think before you click. If in doubt, then don’t click. And don’t open any attachments from senders that you don’t know. If you’re still worried, talk to family, friends or someone else you trust.
Vishing is unsolicited phone calls. Always be suspicious of ‘cold-callers’. Don’t be afraid to challenge them or hang up if you can’t verify the caller. Banks, police etc. will never ask for security information, so never give out personal details. If you’re concerned, call the organisation back on the number listed on their website, ideally on a different phone as criminals can sometimes keep the line open. Or if it’s your bank, use the number on the back of your card.