Coronavirus Fraud and Scams

COVID-19

It’s important that you remain vigilant and guard against criminals using the publicity around Coronavirus as a chance to target you with fraudulent emails, phone calls, texts messages or social media posts.

COVID-19 Business Advice

COVID-19

Criminals are using the Coronavirus as a cover story to trick you into parting with your business’s money or information. Always take a moment to Stop, Challenge, Protect before making any payments.

Woman holding her hand out with Take Five slogan written on it: My Money? My Info? I don't think so!

What is Take Five

Take Five is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Man holding his hand out with Take Five slogan written on it: My Money? My Info? I don't think so!

What is Take Five

Take Five is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Man holding his hand out with Take Five slogan written on it: My Money? My Info? I don't think so!

What is Take Five

Take Five is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Woman holding her hand out with Take Five slogan written on it: My Money? My Info? I don't think so!

What is Take Five

Take Five is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Scam Alert!

HOLIDAYMAKERS AND FESTIVALGOERS URGED TO BE VIGILANT FROM SCAMS AS LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS EASE

Fraudsters are poised to target the British public with ticketing, travel and health insurance scams as consumers look to book in much-needed social activities as lockdown restrictions ease.

 

The scam alert comes as the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign publishes guidance below on how consumers can protect themselves in the lead-up to further easing of lockdown restrictions.

 

With many people booking holidays and tickets to concerts and summer festivals, criminals are staying one step ahead by advertising holidays and tickets at low prices or for sold out events, illegally profiting from consumers who are looking for good deals or wanting to attend fully booked events.  In some instances, scammers are charging people for the new Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which is available free of charge, or advertising fake ‘vaccine certificates’ online.

 

Experts at impersonating trusted organisations such as travel agencies and hospitality firms, these fraudsters are using a range of sophisticated methods to approach their victims, including scam emails, telephone calls, fake websites and posts on social media.

 

Travel deal scams  

 

Criminals will set up fake websites offering ‘travel deals’ which are used to obtain your money and information. Websites may look similar to the genuine organisation’s but subtle changes in the URL can indicate that it’s fraudulent. These websites may also seem professional and convincing, using images of luxury villas and apartments that don’t exist to convince victims they’re trusted and genuine. These are offered for rent, often at discounted prices and require a deposit to be made which is never returned.

 

Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) scams 

 

When travelling in the EU, people can access emergency and medical care with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This card has replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) however criminals are capitalising on this new card to commit fraud, asking victims for payment details when the GHIC is free. They are advertising these cards on fake websites that look like that of the NHS. The sites claim to either fast-track or manage your application process before charging you an up-front fee.

 

Vaccine certificate scams 

 

Criminals will be using the opportunity to target people with fake Covid certificates and passports. They may defraud people via phishing emails, ‘spoofed’ calls, social media posts, fake apps or adverts claiming to be offering Covid certificates or passports. Often posts include a link leading to a fraudulent website used to steal personal and financial information in order for the criminal to commit fraud.

 

Ticketing scams 

 

As events, concerts, festivals and theatre shows reopen from 17 May, criminals will be on the look out to take advantage of people booking these events. Criminals either set up fake websites or social media profiles to sell tickets that are either fraudulent or don’t exist. Websites may even look similar to the genuine organisation’s one but subtle changes in the URL can indicate that it’s fraudulent. Make sure you book tickets directly through official sellers who are members of the self-regulatory body STAR, as anything else could be a scam.

 

Read more about how to protect yourself from these scams here.

TAKE FIVE TO STOP FRAUD

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think. It could protect you and your money.

Stop

Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

Challenge

Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect

Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Are you scam-savvy?

Criminals are turning to more sophisticated ways to take your money, whether through online offers, emails or telephone calls. Can you outsmart them? Put your ability to spot a scam to the test with our quick quiz.

Watch out for scams like this

Beware if you receive a text message purporting to be from a trusted organisation such as your bank – can you be sure it’s genuine? Our video tells you what to watch out for.

Take Five toolkit

We want organisations, businesses and individuals to be able to spread the message and get involved in the campaign so we can all help protect the nation against financial fraud. Please support Take Five and make use of the full suite of campaign materials we have on offer.