The last 12 months has been full of new challenges. There have been many positives, such as spending more time with immediate family, environmental impact, learning new skills and a greater sense of community. Unfortunately, alongside these positives, the pandemic has also increased the vulnerabilities in our society and this greater sense of community is being called upon to tackle this issue.
People are more susceptible to scams when their mind is on other matters and so, during this pandemic, scammers are taking advantage of these uncertain times for their own financial gain. The people that they can target, and the tactics that they can use has increased significantly.
We, as a society, need to use the positives to help protect those that are at their most vulnerable, whether this is an elderly neighbour who is feeling particularly isolated and lonely, or the NHS worker who is struggling to cope with the stresses of work and provide the home schooling for their children.
The Government has recognised that scams are on the increase and that some scams are designed to appear from them. They are designed to steal personal data, but preventative action can deny the scammers from getting the information and ultimately money that they are looking for.
Criminals are sending texts, emails and making telephone calls impersonating organisations that you know and trust and offering financial support. If you receive any of these, asking for personal or financial details, do not respond. Contact the organisation through a known route.
The ten scams to be wary of
Covid-19 financial support scams
Remember, the vaccine is being rolled out, which will be of great comfort to many people, however scammers are sadly taking advantage of this.
Please remember the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.
- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.
- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.
If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.