NewsroomCareersContact Us

Newsroom

Cifas weekly coronavirus scam update – fraudsters impersonate NHS & HMRC to target the public

8 June 2020
  • Warnings issued this week as phishing emails circulated claiming to be from NHS Test & Trace service
  • Public warned after callous criminals target fraud victims claiming to be from Cifas

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is highlighting the latest coronavirus scams from the past week, and warning the public to stay vigilant of the ever-changing tactics that scammers are using to extract money and information.

This week Cifas has been made aware of the following scams:

NHS Test and Trace emails

The first phishing emails relating to the new NHS Test & Trace service have been reported this week. These fake emails are advising the recipient that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, and instructed to click on a link in order to find out the identity if the person who has been infected. The email also warns that if they fail to do this within 24 hours, then legal action may be taken and any benefits being claimed for will be suspended. The email address from which this message is sent is: ‘alert@nhstrackandtrace233-gov.com’.

Cifas is reminding everyone that the NHS Test and Trace service will never ask for personal or financial details, or ask you them to call a premium rate number. Texts from NHS Test and Trace will always come from 0300 0135000. More advice is available on the NHS website here.

Sharp spike in HMRC coronavirus scams

HMRC has this week revealed that the number of phishing emails reported to them has risen by 74% since January, with 42,575 emails reported. HMRC also reported that since March, the majority of these made reference to the Covid-19 pandemic.

HMRC has reiterated that it will never email, text or message individual taxpayers on social media to offer a tax rebate or refund.

Cifas scam

We have recently been made aware of criminals impersonating Cifas employees and calling fraud victims to offer help getting their money back.

Cifas will never contact victims of fraud, and anyone who does receive a call like this should hang up immediately and never offer up any personal or financial details.

Lidl voucher warning

We have been made aware of a new email phishing campaign which is circulating a fraudulent Lidl survey and voucher. The email message opens with the message ‘LIDL (Hurry up! Few coupons left) www.lidl.uk-helping.club’. The accompanying message, which includes a number of grammar and spelling mistakes, asks the recipient to share a link with twenty friends in order to receive money saving vouchers.

There have been a number of similar scams over the last few months offering shopping vouchers for well-known supermarkets. Cifas is reminding anyone that receives an email, text or WhatsApp message offering a deal similar to this to delete it immediately, and never share personal or financial details – even in a request appears to be legitimate.

Nick Downing, Chief Intelligence Office for Cifas, said: ‘Fraudsters have been relentless in their pursuit of stealing people’s financial and personal data throughout the duration of the pandemic. Don’t be afraid to challenge someone if they call, text or email you and you can’t confirm whether they are genuine, and never give anyone your financial or personal details – no matter how genuine the request appears.

‘Only by remaining vigilant to fraud can we stop the misery that criminals are inflicting on innocent people during this difficult time.’

Anyone that believes they have been the victim of a scam should contact their bank or financial service provider immediately and report the fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or www.actionfraud.police.uk.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Corinne Gladstone
Head of Communications, Cifas
T: +44 (0)20 3004 3654
E: corinne.gladstone@cifas.org.uk

Notes to editors

Cifas has a webpage dedicated to giving advice on coronavirus fraud and the latest scams here

For more advice on preventing fraud visit the Take Five website.

About Cifas

Cifas is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2018, Cifas member organisations prevented over £1.4 billion of fraud losses.

Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime and works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud.

Share:
Posted by: Cifas Press Team
PREVIOUS ARTICLENEXT ARTICLE

Cifas weekly coronavirus scam update – Fraudsters target remote workers and dating sites

12 June 2020

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is highlighting the latest coronavirus scams from the past week, and warning the public to stay vigilant of the ever-changing tactics that scammers are using to extract money and information.

CONTINUE READING

Cifas weekly coronavirus scam update - criminals target councils, students & bereaved families.

29 May 2020

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is highlighting the latest coronavirus scams from the past week, and warning the public to stay vigilant of the ever-changing tactics that scammers are using to extract money and information. 

CONTINUE READING
Back to newsroom >
Posted by: Cifas Press Team

Contact us at press@cifas.org.uk

Categories