STAY SAFE OUT THERE!
Cybercriminals view the Covid-19 Pandemic as an Opportunity for Financial Gain!
As the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues throughout the UK, the vast majority of us have pulled together, (figuratively speaking of course!) and followed Government advice to stay at home in order to protect our NHS, as well as each other.
However, cybercriminals see opportunity for profit during these times of crisis, which is why it is very important for businesses and the general public to be aware of the dangers out there on the worldwide web!
Towards the end of March, London Police reported a 400% increase in scams as a result of Coronavirus-related fraud. 105 reports had also been sent to Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting hub for fraud and cybercrime, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000!
We’ve seen many examples already, ranging from emails containing malicious scams or malware and those which direct you to phishing sites, to the numerous misinformation websites which have recently risen to the surface.
Below are a couple of examples of the various email scams we are aware of:
Fake Lockdown Fines – There have been numerous reports of emails containing false fines being sent out, which state the receiver has failed to follow Government advice to stay indoors and must pay a fine or receive a more severe penalty.
HMRC Goodwill Payment – Cybercriminals are also releasing emails targeting both businesses and the public, designed to steal your account details, for example: ‘As part of the NHS promise to battle the COV-19 virus, HMRC has issued a payment of £258 as a goodwill payment’.
As we mentioned previously, there has also been a huge increase in websites distributing false information, such as: ‘There is a new vaccine for Coronavirus’ and ‘The US government, like the Chinese government, isn’t telling us the truth about how many are infected’.
These websites are typically riddled with malicious links that once clicked, can infect the user’s computer with viruses or other harmful malware.
How do I stay safe out there on the worldwide web?
Typically, most phishing emails will contain errors, such as spelling mistakes or punctuation errors, so be vigilant and read through the emails carefully before doing anything rash!
In addition, as we mentioned in a previous blog post, we strongly recommend you steer-clear from entering personal information, (especially bank details), on unfamiliar websites!
Furthermore, when online, especially social media, be aware that not everything you read is true!
Facebook has recently introduced a flagging system, which issues a warning to the user that the article they are reading contains fake news, but this will not stop the tons of misinformation websites getting through!
If you would like to learn more about staying safe online, please feel free to contact us!
Your online safety is of great importance to us and we are always willing to give quality advice and guidance for those in need, during these times of crisis!
Stay safe out there folks!