In what must be one of the lowest forms of scam, fraudsters are sending bogus text messages about the Coronavirus vaccines, to gather bank details.
Please be aware of the new risk, and warn your family and friends not to fall foul of them!
The messages tell recipients that they are now eligible to ‘apply’ for their vaccine. The message links through to a false NHS website, that requests various pieces of personal information, including bank details.
This is, sadly, just one of a number of new variants of scam, designed to prey on people’s anxiety and eagerness to get back to some kind of normality, particularly since the imposition of Lockdown 3.0.
UK Finance has warned of the top 10 Coronavirus related scams to be aware of, as follows:
Covid-19 financial support scams
1. Fake government emails, which look like they are from government departments offering grants of up to £7,500. The emails contain links which steal personal and financial information.
2. Scam emails offering access to “Covid-19 relief funds”, which encourage victims to fill in a form and hand over their personal information.
3. Official-looking emails offering a “council tax reduction”. The emails contain links that lead to a fake government website, which harvests personal and financial information.
4. Benefit recipients are offered help in applying for universal credit, but fraudsters grab some of the payment as an advance for their “services”.
5. Phishing emails claiming that the recipient has been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. They lead to fake websites that are used to steal personal and financial information or infect devices with malware.
6. Fake adverts for non-existent coronavirus-related products, such as hand sanitizer and face masks, which simply take the victim’s cash and send them nothing.
7. Fake emails and texts claiming to be from TV Licensing, telling people they are eligible for six months for free because of the pandemic. Victims are told there has been a problem with their direct debit and are asked to click on a link that takes them to a fake website, which steals their personal and financial information.
8. Emails asking people to update their TV subscription services payment details by clicking on a link which is then used to steal credit card information.
9. Fake profiles on social media sites are used to manipulate victims into handing over their money. Criminals will often use the identities of real people to strike up conversation with their targets.
10. Fake investment opportunities are advertised on social media sites, encouraging victims to “take advantage of the financial downturn”. Bitcoin platforms are using emails and adverts on social media platforms to encourage unsuspecting victims to put money into fake companies using fake websites.
Please be careful, and think twice before you provide any personal information, or follow links in unexpected texts or emails.