Has Covid 19 caused an increase in scams?
It is a rather worrying fact to consider, but the truth is that criminals all across the globe are using the Covid-19 pandemic as a chance to scam the general public and obtain their personal information, bank account details or perhaps just secure money from them.
Both members of the general public and businesses have been the target of these scammers and the information that they present can be incredibly convincing. They will not only impersonate people, but also organisations and the police too. They will spend a huge amount of time researching their target victims as well as putting together a scam that they think is going to work and will then take their time putting it into action.
Why has there been a increase?
You may wonder what exactly is it about the arrival of Covid-19 in all of our lives which has meant that these scammers have begun to increase their efforts?
The main reason is likely to be because there are people who are going to be vulnerable and alone at home. Isolated from the family who would normally be on hand to help them. Many of the scammers are using this as their method of interacting with people, they are offering testing kits for Covid-19, face masks and hand cleaning gel. All of which someone who is at risk is going to want to need.
Businesses are seeing an increase in scams that involve pretending to be HMRC and offering them financial support in order to get their business back off of the ground. Both of these types of approaches can be hugely believable and easy to fall for. Even if you are someone who is usually vigilant.
How can you protect yourself?
You may think that you would be able to spot a scam, email or telephone call with ease; but all it takes a momentary lapse of concentration and you could fall victim. There are three main things that you can do to try and protect yourself, your money and your data. Stop, Challenge and Protect.
- STOP- Always take the time to think about who you could be sharing your information with and whether you are comfortable with this
- CHALLENGE- You have every right to challenge whoever is talking to you, after all, it is your information that they want. Rejecting, refusing or asking not to be rushed is fine. In fact, instilling a feeling of panic or the request being time critical is something that criminals are likely to use in order to get you to do what they want
- PROTECT- If you think you have been put at risk of a scam, then you should speak to your bank as soon as you can. They will be able to advise you of the next steps to take
It doesn’t matter if you are a business or an individual, it is important that you stay aware of scams. Not only during these difficult times, but also long-term too. You never know when you could become a target, so, making sure that you think carefully about what you say and the information that you share could be a huge helping hand in protecting your identity, your business and above everything else, your money too
IP Four Digital is an IT support & cyber security organisation based in Burnley, Lancashire. For help, advice or to talk to us about our services then contact us here.