Cyber Scams increase by 400% during coronavirus pandemic

Unscrupulous cyber criminals are taking advantage of the disruption caused by the global coronavirus pandemic to engage in increased cyber scams.

Figures from ‘Action Fraud’ report that fraud has increased by 400% in March 2020 so far, costing victims around £1m.*

The majority of UK residents are staying at home at present, following Government recommendations to manage the coronavirus pandemic. This has brought about an increase in online shopping and with it, more cyber fraud. Employees are also working from home using personal computers, making the job of managing the IT security of a business more difficult.

Many scams have recently been reported, ranging from online adverts for cures for COVID-19 or important coronavirus updates to emails seemingly from HMRC offering tax refunds and business grants.

Phishing emails

Cyber scams are often delivered by an email impersonating an organisation such as a bank or the government, requesting that you log in to deal with ‘an issue’. This act is known as ‘phishing’ and usually attempts to steal money or personal data from the recipient.

Please be more vigilant of suspicious looking emails at this time. If you receive one, do not open it, reply to it, click on any links or call a phone number stated on it. If you are unsure whether it is real, it is best to contact the organisation the email appears to be from directly and discuss it with them.

Clicking on a link in a phishing email may install malware on your computer which allows the cyber criminal access to it. Often you may not even realise this has taken place.

With more sophisticated cyber scams, the email is even followed up by a phone call purporting to be from the company who sent it, asking if you received the email and for your personal information over the phone.

Fake adverts

Google has also reportedly blocked a multitude of online adverts about high-risk investments and bonds from scammers seeking to take advantage of investors who are concerned about the downturn in the stock market*.
 
If at any time you are in doubt about any communication regarding your investment, we urge you to contact your financial adviser before undertaking any action with your investment at this uncertain time.
 
Our team of independent financial advisers are here to support and advise you. Please call us on: 01244 347 583 or email: info@innesreid.co.uk.

*Sources: Professional Advisor and Money Age.

 


 
For further business updates regarding coronavirus, please visit our designated webpage at: www.innesreid.co.uk/coronavirus/
 

 

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between regulated firms and their clients. Further details of the FOS can be found on its website:
www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk