Fortnightly Fraud Focus - Fake Omicron PCR Tests, Festive Job Adverts and Fifa World Cup
9 December 2021
Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is highlighting the latest fraud threats and warning the public to stay vigilant of the ever-changing tactics that scammers are using to extract money and information.
Fake Omicron PCR Test Kits
The NHS has issued a warning about scam emails asking recipient to order an Omicron PCR test. This email links to a phishing website with NHS branding designed to steal personal and banking details, which could be used to commit fraud.
Remember that the NHS will never ask for:
- Bank account or card details
- Banking passwords or login details
- Copies of personal documents such as a passport, driving licence, bills or payslips
If you think you have been a victim of fraud then you must contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on their website or 0300 123 2040, or Police Scotland via 101.
Scam emails should be sent to the National Cyber Security Centre by forwarding emails to email@example.com.
Jobseekers warned of fake festive job adverts
Cifas has partnered with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and JobsAware to warn of the threat of job scams this festive period.
During 2020, seasonal job scams increased by 88% compared to 2019, with figures predicted to rise again this year. It’s important to remain vigilant and familiarise yourself with the signs of a potential job scam or fraudulent job advert.
Common signs of a job scam include:
- Illegitimate companies or illegitimate emails;
- Poorly-written job adverts;
- Suspicious contact details;
- Unrealistic salaries;
- Job offers without an interview;
- Being asked for money.
If you suspect you have been targeted or are a victim of a job scam, report this to JobsAware. If you have given away your banking details, report this to your bank immediately.
Fifa World Cup 2022 Scams
An increasing number of reports have been received of scam messages offering tickets to the Fifa World Cup 2022. Messages have been received through a variety of methods, including messages on WhatsApp and Facebook, as well as letters and phone calls.
As well as attempting to steal victim’s personal details, electronic messages were also accompanied by attachments which were malicious and could steal user credentials.
Those receiving these messages are reminded to take a moment to stop and think before handing over personal or banking details. Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in emails, and forward any phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commenting on the latest fraud threats, Cifas' Head of Fraud Intelligence, Amber Burridge, said: ‘With recent developments in the pandemic, such as the introduction of mandatory PCR tests when travelling, fraudsters have re-shifted their attention to smishing and phishing attacks. These types of attacks were rife during the early stages of the pandemic, and we continue to see criminals adapting these techniques to target unsuspecting victims. By gaining personal details, criminals will often attempt to apply for products and services in the victim’s name, such as bank accounts, loans or credit cards.
‘Remember that the NHS will never ask you for your banking details, and you should always think carefully and do your research before parting with any personal or financial information.’
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