Criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam the public – don’t become a victim.
Law enforcement, government and private sectors partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
1. Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe
2. Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you
3. Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud
4. Your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account
Advice for your business:
Verify: If you receive a request to move money into a new bank account, contact the supplier directly using established contact details, to verify and corroborate the payment request.
Internal processes: Establish robust internal processes for handling changes to payment details. For example, only designated employees should be able to make changes to payment arrangements.
Sensitive information: Invoices, payment mandates, and other documents containing sensitive financial information should be stored securely and only be accessible to those staff that need them to perform their duties. Sensitive documents should be shredded before they are disposed of.
If you have made a payment: Inform your bank as soon as possible, they can help you prevent any further losses. Monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, ActionFraud, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.
Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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