NewsroomCareersContact Us

Newsroom

Cifas weekly coronavirus scam update – criminals target homeowners over Government ‘green home’ grant

17 July 2020
  • Fraudsters swoop on Chancellor’s £2bn 'green homes grant' announcement

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:

Green grant scams targeting homeowners

Criminals have been quick to take advantage of the government’s recent announcement of a £2bn 'green homes grant' to help homeowners and landlords make homes more energy efficient. There has been a reported rise in calls from fraudsters advising homeowners that they are eligible for the grant, and directing them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.

Cifas is reminding anyone that receives a call about these grants to hang up and never give any personal details. As this scheme is not due to start until September, any calls relating to this announcement will be a scam.

Homeworkers targeted by Zoom fraudsters

With a large number of employees still working from home, criminals continue to take advantage of the large number of people using video conferencing platforms. Homeworkers have recently reported receiving bogus texts and emails claiming to be from Zoom. One ‘Zoom Mail’ message states that the recipient has received a voicemail and asks them to call a premium rate number in order to access this message. Employees have also reported receiving a fake Zoom conference call invitation asking them to click a link to ‘review invitation’. This link redirects the user to a fake web page which steals their login and personal details.

Anyone receiving an unexpected email claiming to be from their video conference platform provider should delete it, or login via the platform’s website – never use links provided in emails or texts.

Quizzes and links on social media

During the pandemic there has been a sharp rise in fraudsters using social media to steal money and information from the public. More recently there has been an increase in ‘bait and switch’ scams which use a social media post to share fake links to viral videos. These links take users to a fake site which downloads malicious software, enabling scammers to steal personal and financial details. Criminals are also circulating quizzes and challenges on social media in order to steal information, and encouraging users to share with their friends and contacts.

Cifas is reminding social media users to provide as little personal information about themselves on social media as possible, and only ever accept ‘friend’ invitations from people they know.

Amazon Phishing & Vishing Campaigns

Amazon customers have reported receiving an email informing them their orders will be cancelled unless they update their payment details. These emails include a malicious link which steals financial information, and then redirects them to the real Amazon home page leaving the user unaware that they have been the victim of a scam. A second set of emails ask customers to call Amazon’s ‘Fraud Protection Team’ about a potential fraudulent transaction, and these calls aim to steal as much information from the victim as possible.

Cifas is reminding anyone that receives an email, text or WhatsApp message claiming to be from Amazon to delete it immediately and never click on links or use contact details in messages. Check account details using the Amazon website and only use the contact details provided on the site.

Amber Burridge, Head of Fraud Intelligence for Cifas said: ‘Months after the start of lockdown and criminals continue to use coronavirus related scams in their relentless pursuit of stealing money and information from the public.

‘Stop and think carefully before responding to unsolicited calls, texts or emails, and always challenge requests for personal or financial information. Never feel rushed or pressured into a decision – it’s a well-known tactic that only criminals will use.’

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 - rise in HMRC scams ahead of Tax Credit deadline & shoppers targeted by face mask fraud

24 July 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 – public warned about fake covid-19 fund & Government helplines

10 July 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