National Fraud Intelligence Bureau confirm Coronavirus-based fraud

06 March 2020

Fraudsters are exploiting the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus to facilitate various types of fraud and cyber crime.

Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified 21 reports of fraud where Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800k. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers. Reporting numbers are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world.

Fraudsters are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details. Tactics include Fraudsters purporting to be from research organisations affiliated with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation. Some offer to provide lists of infected people in an area. These links and attachments often contain viruses.

Businesses should apply their normal approach to cyber security to protect against these scams. This includes not clicking on links or attachments in suspicious emails and never giving out personal or financial details to people you don’t know.