Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Trading standards warns of outbreak of scams

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Trading standards warns of outbreak of scams

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has posted an update on its website about coronavirus (COVID-19) related scams in a bid to share intelligence and educate consumers. According to research carried out by Trend Micro, a multinational cybersecurity and defence company, the UK is the most heavily targeted nation for coronavirus related email scams, receiving 20.8% of global malicious spam. CTSI has received reports of fraudulent messages from people claiming to be HM Revenues and Customs, phoney text messages demanding fines from people for supposedly breaking lockdown rules and fraudulent messages disguised with corporate branding, which claim to offer one-off shopping vouchers or ask customers to update payment details. The common goal of the scams is to get the recipient to input sensitive information such as passwords, PINs and bank details.

Social media users must also beware of coronavirus related quizzes purporting to test public awareness, but which actually contain questions on sensitive user information such as maiden names, pets and contact details. CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, warns that the public must stay ‘extra vigilant at this unprecedented time’ to minimise the impact of criminal activity.

Source: Outbreak of scams during coronavirus pandemic

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