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Cifas weekly coronavirus scam update – Cifas issues scam warning as a result of holiday disruption

3 August 2020
  • Cifas issues warning to travellers as holidays disrupted this week
  • PayPal users hit by rise in phishing email attack

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:

Warning issued of holiday refund scams

With a large number of holidays being disrupted this week as a result of coronavirus outbreaks, Cifas is warning travellers to be wary of travel refund and compensation scams

Don’t be afraid to challenge calls or emails offering to rebook or refund your holiday. Stop and think before parting with your money or personal information, and if you are contacted about changes to your holiday then hang up and speak to your travel operator directly.

Spike in PayPal scams

As a result of the rise in consumers shopping online throughout the pandemic, fraudsters have increasingly been using phishing emails purporting to be from online retail and payment platforms to steal information and money. This week Action Fraud has warned that has received reports of a high number of scams relating to PayPal. PayPal users have been receiving emails informing them that their account has been ‘limited’ as a result of a policy violation, and asking them to update their details by clicking on a link included in the email.

Cifas is reminding people to never click on links in emails and always log onto their account directly through a secure app or website. Anyone receiving a suspicious email can report it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service on report@phishing.gov.uk.

Council Tax Phishing scam

Email users are being warned of a new phishing campaign promising a government funded tax cut. The email appears to come from the ‘Government Digital Service Team’, and informs recipients that they are due a council tax reduction as a result of being on a low income or receiving benefits. These emails contain a link where people can leave their personal details which are used by criminals for identity fraud.

Anyone who receives this or a similar email should never reply or click on links within it. If you are concerned about your council tax then contact your local council using the contact details on their website.

Nick Downing, Chief Intelligence Officer for Cifas, said: ‘Fraudsters will be quick to act on the disruption to holidays caused by changes in quarantine rules this week, and holidaymakers need to be vigilant of fraudsters contacting them offering to refund or rearrange their holiday.

‘If you are contacted out of the blue then remember that just taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.’

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.

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Posted by: Cifas Press Team
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Posted by: Cifas Press Team

Contact us at press@cifas.org.uk

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