It’s important to be aware of coronavirus scammers. Scammers are sophisticated and opportunistic and therefor they will try to take advantage of people, especially the vulnerable during the coronavirus. It’s important to remain vigilant to scams and be aware what to look out for as well. Things to look for include:
- Loan Fee Fraud – a scammer will claim to be able to arrange loans for you for an upfront fee (but the loan never appears after you pay them)
- ‘Good Cause’ scams – where an investment is sought for good cause (for example, the production of hand sanitiser) with the promise of high returns
- Using the uncertainty in the stock market to move people to non-standard investments
- Clone Firms – where a scammer will claim to represent a legitimate company, particularly life insurance firms
- Scam Claims Management companies – where the scammer purports to be able to claim back losses on holidays/events etc
- Cold calls/emails/Whatsapps that claim banks are failing due to the coronavirus and asking people to transfer money out of their accounts
There are also a few things you can do as well such as:
- Rejecting offers that come out of the blue or seem too good to be true
- Be aware of adverts on social media channels and paid for/sponsored adverts online
- Do no click links or open emails from senders you do not know
- Avoid being rushed or pressured into making a decision
- Do not give out personal details (including bank details, address, existing insurance, pensions and investment details) to people you do not know
Scams can be reported to the FCA by contacting them on their consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768.
If you’re unsure or need advice, contact one of our independent financial advisers here.