UK: Latest scams in COVID-19 crisis

Garreg Ddu

Staff member
This is a summary of the latest news from UK fraudwatch:

Scams are on the rise in the UK as fraudsters exploit the COVID-19 crisis to deceive Brits and steal their money and personal information.

During March alone, scam reports shot up by a massive 400%. Meanwhile, Action Fraud figures show losses from coronavirus-themed scams have now surpassed £5m ($6.17m).

Phone and holiday scams - scammers impersonating travel companies offering low price travel and vacations to get bank account details
Phishing emails - Especially from banks, HMRC, health equipment providers, where the scammer clones a copy of the legitimate website
Social media - where scammers use shared information from FaceBook profiles and similar
Coronavirus scams - including:
  • Fake lockdown fines
  • HMRC goodwill payment
  • Fake council tax reductions
  • Free school meals
  • WhatsApp request to forward your code
  • Contract tracing scams -scammers pretending to be from the NHS coronavirus contact tracing operation. The NHS test and trace service calls phones, sends text messages or emails, which will come only from one verified NHS number: 0300 013 5000. Calls from any other numbers, or from a withheld number, should be treated as fake.