How To Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Scams
We all need to be careful ...
Posted by Roger Eddowes on 29/06/2020 @ 8:00AM
There are many scammers out there, and the COVID-19 outbreak has meant an upturn in phone calls, texts and emails from criminals trying to get their grubby little hands on your money and your personal information ...
Be very careful right now as there are many COVID-19 scams about!
copyright: burdun / 123rf
So far, since lockdown began, Action Fraud has logged reports from 2,378 victims across the United Kingdom who have lost a total of more than £7,000,000 to these scammers. We all need to be very, very careful.
"So how can you protect yourself?"
There are a number of simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from these COVID-19 scammers, and the first one is to look out for these scam messages. Official organisations will never ask you to share passwords and financial details via your phone or email. If you receive something that you're unsure about, it can be reported to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS).
Also remember that when shopping online with a business you don't know or trust, carry out your research first. Check to see what the reviews are like on both Facebook and Google and use a credit card rather than a debit card where possible to have that extra layer of protection should something go wrong.
Never, ever, install software you're unsure about or grant remote access to your computer due to someone cold calling you. Legitimate organisations such as your bank would never contact you out of the blue and ask for a PIN number (for example), and they would certainly never ask you to install something that would let them into your computer.
"There are also a number of scams around the
NHS Test and Trace service!"
Test and Trace is playing a very important role in the fight against COVID-19, so it would be vital that the public has complete trust and confidence in the service. Of course, there are opportunities for criminals to exploit people's fears.
Official NHS contact tracers will only call you from 0300 013 5000 and no other number, and there is a web-based service you can log into if you don't want to talk on the phone. If you do choose to access the service via the web, you will be given a unique reference number and asked to log in to https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk then enter the number they gave you.
NHS Test and Trace contact tracers will never ask you to:
dial a premium rate number
make any form of payment to purchase a test
give them details of your bank account
give them social media login details
setup passwords or PINs
download software to your computer
hand over control of your computer
access any website not ending with gov.uk
Whatever form of scam you're suspicious of, or if you have fallen for a scam, always report to Action Fraud which is an official Police organisation, or call them on 0300 123 2040.
Scottish residents should call Police Scotland via 101.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
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About Roger Eddowes ...
Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.
Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.
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