According to The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), people across the country have started to receive fraudulent text messages where scammers are posing as the NHS and informing people that the COVID-19 vaccine is available to them.
Throughout the whole pandemic, scammers have exhausted every avenue to try and scam people out of their money, and we knew that the vaccine would be no exception.
The text message that has been found so far says "we have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine" and this is follow by a link to a bogus NHS website. Once you’re on the website, you are asked to enter your personal information, such as your name and home address, as well as your bank details which they claim is for verification.
We have been told that the NHS will be contacting us when we’re eligible to have the COVID-19 vaccine, however it’s important to remember that they will never ask you for any
personal information and especially not for your bank details.
If you receive any text, email, or phone call of this nature then you must report it to Action Fraud so they can work towards stopping these scams.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that this is the first in a long line of COVID-19 vaccine related scams, so keep an eye on KIS Finance’s coronavirus scam guide for further updates.
Beware of a new text scam that has started to be sent out over the past couple of days.
The text comes from a mobile number (the one that we’ve seen is 07398 202447) and it says that GOV-UK (which closely resembles Gov.uk) has issued a payment of £365.65 to all residents as part of its promise to battle COVID-19. It then urges you to click on a link for more information (govuk-cvd19-grant.com) which is likely to take you to a website which looks like the official Gov.uk website, but designed to steal your personal information and bank details. Alternatively, it may download malicious malware and viruses onto your device.
Never click on a link which has been sent to you via an unsolicited text message, email, or social media message. For something like this, the government would have announced it officially, so if you’re unsure and want to find more information then do this by searching from your web browser.
Now that the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine is starting to be rolled out in the UK, concerns are already growing over potential vaccine related scams.
With scammers already having used PPE and COVID-19 tests as the subject for their scams, as well as there being a rise in online shopping, investment, and online romance scams this year, a National Crime Agency official has said that vaccine fraud is an “emerging threat”.
It is expected that scammers will start to try and sell fake Coronavirus vaccines online once the real vaccine is being rolled out more widely and it’s said that British authorities are already working to try and prevent this from happening. It’s also expected that scammers will use similar tactics as earlier in the year and send out phishing emails and texts imitating the NHS and claim that you’re due for your vaccine but need to pay for it first.
This news feature will be updated with any more information on vaccine related scams, but you can also read the following article on the most common Coronavirus scams.
Between January and September this year, 21,349 reports were made to Action Fraud over fraudulent PayPal emails. The total monetary loss for these scams is sitting at just under £8m.
These types of scams commonly target buyers, but this scam is targeting online sellers instead, due to the number of people who have taken to selling online this year during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Criminals have been sending emails to sellers, pretending to be from PayPal, and tricking them into believing that they’ve received payment for an item they’re selling. This is an attempt to trick the seller into sending them the item – so not only will the seller have not received payment; they will no longer have the item either.
Scammers have been taking advantage of the pandemic all year in order to con people out of their hard-earned money, and this is unfortunately another to add to the long list of Coronavirus related scams.
How to protect yourself:
Following similar scams from earlier this year where criminals were posing as health workers and offering fake door-to-door Covid-19 tests, there have now been reports of scammers dressing up as fake Coronavirus marshals in order to get into people’s homes so they can steal their belongings.
The scammers are knocking on people’s doors and claiming that they’ve been instructed by police to ensure that people are following Coronavirus guidelines in their homes. Some reports have seen these individuals threatening fines if they’re not let in.
It’s important to be aware that official Covid-19 secure marshals do not have any power to enter people’s homes, enforce social distancing or issue fines and they will never turn up at people’s home unannounced.
Never let anyone that you don’t know into your home, regardless of who they say they are or what they’re offering. If anyone threatens you or claims that they will give you a fine if you don’t let them in, close the door and phone the police.
According to Action Fraud, millions of pounds has been lost to Coronavirus related scams since the start of the pandemic. To protect yourself and your loved ones, make sure that you’re keeping up to date with the most latest Coronavirus scams.
Since the NHS test and trace system was released there have been some worrying scams reported where scammers are exploiting the system in order to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
With the test and trace system, NHS representatives are contacting people via text, call or email if they have tested positive for the Coronavirus, or if they have been in close proximity to someone who has. Scammers are massively using this to their advantage by copying the phone calls/emails by saying that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, therefore need to take a test, but they are asking for payment in exchange for being sent a testing kit.
The test and trace system is entirely free so you will not have to pay anything in order to get a Coronavirus test – whether that’s at a testing centre or an at-home testing kit.
So, if you receive a call from somebody claiming to be a representative of the NHS test and trace system, but they ask for payment in any form, then hang up the phone immediately and report it.
For more information on how this scam works, please go to the following article: How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus Scams.
Since 2017, a reported £30,857,329 has been lost to pension scammers according to Action Fraud, the FCA and The Pensions Regulator. Individual losses range from under £1,000 to as much as £500,000 and it seems that men in their 50’s are being targeted the most. What’s even more worrying is that the true figure could actually be much higher due to savers often failing to spot the signs of pension scams and not knowing how much is in their pension pots.
It’s so important to keep track of what’s in your pension savings so you can spot if anything goes missing or doesn’t look right. It’s also important to do thorough research into any company offering you investment opportunities. You can check whether a firm is legitimate by looking for them on the FCA register.
As always, never give out any personal information or bank details to anyone over the phone or via email and make sure that, if you do notice anything suspicious or if you believe that you’ve fallen victim to a scam, report it to Action Fraud UK.
The Investment Association (IA), which represents 250 fund managers, has recently warned of large-scale investment scams that have seen around 300 victims losing £4m between them – that’s £13,300 per person on average.
In attempts to capitalise on savers’ worries during the pandemic, fraudsters have been impersonating real investment managers and cold calling victims in order to sell their investment products, particularly investment bonds. As well as cold calls, these scam investment packages have also been promoted on fake comparison websites and through sponsored advertisements on Google and Facebook. In some cases, scammers have also set up numerous fake email addresses and stolen the identities of real staff members at some investment firms as well as the company branding in order to produce authentic looking documents.
How to protect yourself:
Never respond to an unsolicited email or cold call regarding investment products and packages, especially if you’re being pressured to invest quickly. It’s also important to never give out your personal information or bank details to someone over the phone, unless you’ve called them.
According to new research conducted by Citizens Advice, one in three Britons have been targeted with COVID-19 related scams since the UK lockdown started. The charity has also seen a 19% increase in people coming to its website for help and advice as well as receiving large volumes of calls from people who are worried about fake Coronavirus testing kits, government refunds and vaccinations.
It has also been noticed that some of the most vulnerable members of society are being targeted particularly by these scammers. 45% of those with a disability or long-term illness said that they have been confronted with a scam, and 54% of those who have suffered a loss in income due to the pandemic stated the same.
Now it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re clued up on the latest Coronavirus scams so you can protect yourself and others from falling victim. If you do find yourself being targeted, make sure you report it to Action Fraud UK as soon as possible.
A new Coronavirus related ‘smishing’ scam has been going around which is trying to trick people into handing over their personal and financial details.
The text message states that you have been caught leaving your home on three occasions in one day so you have received a £35 fine which can be found in your ‘gov.uk’ account.
They ask you to click on a link which will take you to a fake government website where you can find out more information and pay your fine. The text is also using the government’s advice of ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’, in order to look more legitimate.
Any text message that appears to come from the NHS or the government, that requests personal information or bank details, is a scam. Never click on any links sent to you via an unsolicited text message.
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Last updated: 11 January 2021 | © KIS Bridging Loans 2020 |