In the current health pandemic, scammers are now finding new, creative ways to target consumers’ anxieties.
Phishing is big business for online scammers. In fact, figures show that, in the last year alone, phishing attempts have grown by 65%.
In the last month, we’re all expecting messages from governments and health services. And most of us have already had communication and advice on how to protect ourselves.
The problem is, with this comes a multitude of new scam emails and texts.
So, how do you determine which messages are fake and which are real?
Here’s everything you need to know!
Common types of scams
Right now, the most commonly used scams are “phishing” and “smishing”.
Phishing is something that’s been around for while now. It uses legitimate looking emails to try and persuade you to give up sensitive information, like bank details, usernames, or passwords.
The biggest concern with these emails is that they’re designed to look professional. They often look like they’ve come from a company you trust, a bank, or even the government.
Smishing is slightly more recent. It uses the same techniques, only via text message instead.
At the moment, there are lots of scammers sending texts that look like they’re from a government or health service.
What to look out for
If you get an email or text about coronavirus, you should treat it like any other potentially fraudulent email.
Always look at the URL you’re being directed to on messages. Make sure it’s an official website, not a sub-domain or an imitation.
If in doubt, always search for the official website yourself rather than following the link provided.
What should you do next?
If you get a suspicious email or text, what should you do next?
What’s the best course of action?
If your email of text looks like it’s from an official government body or health service, make sure you check it thoroughly before taking action.
If it gives a number to ring, don’t call it. Instead, check the official website to get further advice.
If you think you’ve received a fraudulent email, you can report it to Action Fraud in the UK or APWG in the US. Then, block the number or email address so you can’t get any more messages.
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