Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud people.
Below are some of the most common scams to be aware of:
Email, Text And Phone Call Scams
- An unexpected email from the government offering you money.
- The ‘infection list’ scam mimicking the World Health Organisation (WHO) claiming to provide a list or map of local infections.
- An email from HM Government asking for donations for the NHS.
- An HMRC email stating you are ‘eligible to receive a tax refund’.
- Sale of fake COVID-19 swabbing tests, supplements, and anti-virus kits.
- A text message asking you to pay a fine as it says you have been ‘recorded as leaving your home on three occasions’ during the lockdown.
- A phone call stating ‘government guidelines now require everyone to wear a mask outside the house, press 1 to purchase your mask’.
- Cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria or offering to ‘decontaminate’ the inside of your home.
- Bogus healthcare workers offering to take your temperature or provide ‘home-testing’ for the virus.
- Criminals offering to do your shopping. They take the money and do not return.
Advice And Support
Always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting your personal or financial information (name, address, bank details). To verify the company contact them directly using a known email or phone number. For advice on cybercrime, or to report suspicious emails, visit www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home.