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COVID-19 scams, information and support

It’s important to remain alert and be aware that criminals are using Coronavirus (COVID-19) as an opportunity to target people via fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages, WhatsApp messages and social media.

Watch out for 

  • vaccines or 'cures'
  • testing kits
  • overpriced or fake goods
  • bogus (fake) requests for charity donations
  • fake emails pretending to come from the government

The GOV.UK website has information about how to recognise when contact from HMRC is genuine and how to recognise phishing or bogus emails and text messages.

CIFAS advice to protect against fraud 

  • be sceptical if you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message about Coronavirus. Never click on any attachments or links 

  • never provide personal data such as your full name, address and date of birth – scammers can use this information to steal your identity 

  • don’t allow anyone to put pressure on you to donate money, or panic buy products.

  • never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents such as Western Union or Moneygram 

Report fraud

If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Suspicious email reporting service

Forward suspicious emails to The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) automated­ programme will immediately test the validity of the site. Any sites found to be phishing scams will be removed immediately.

Stay Safe Online

As many of us are spending more time online at home it's important to stay secure online. 

  • turn on two factor authentication for important accounts
  • protect important accounts using a password of three random words
  • create a separate password that you only use for your main email account
  • update the software and apps on your devices regularly (ideally set to ‘automatically update’)
  • save your passwords in your browser
  • to protect yourself from being held to ransom, back up important data

Further information and support