Coronavirus-related scams and fraudulent emails 

There have been reports of coronavirus-related scams and in the UK, which are designed to encourage you to give away sensitive banking and personal information or download malicious files onto your home or office computer. 

You need to be extra vigilant if you receive emails, texts, calls or letters claiming to be from, or containing links to, the following organisations: 

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) 
  • Global Health Centre 
  • Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità (OMS) 
  • Shipping company customer service teams 
  • Updates from presidents of corporations 
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) 

You should also be careful with any emails that mention coronavirus, especially if they also reference: 

  • A link for an app that tracks the virus using an interactive map
  • Business working conditions or policies 
  • Campaigns raising money for research into cures, or funds for victims 
  • Information about hospitals in affected areas 
  • Mortgage repayment holidays or rent relief 
  • Parcel shipping cancellations 
  • Refunds from airlines or entertainment bookings 
  • Money transfer requests for victims trapped abroad 
  • Services claiming they can diagnose coronavirus 
  • Tax refunds from gov.uk 
  • Websites where you can buy coronavirus masks, test kits, sanitiser gels or protective equipment 

Ways to stay safe online 

If you get an email like the ones described above, do not: 

  • Click on any links 
  • Download or open any attachments 
  • Enable macros in any attachments 
  • Enter or provide your personal information, bank details, usernames or passwords 
  • Forward it to colleagues 
  • Reply to it 

If you get a message that looks relevant to something you have bought or a service you use, it is still best not to reply. Instead, contact the company claiming to have sent it via a different method you’re confident is secure. E.g., a phone number or email address shown on its official website.  

For banks, you can use the phone number on the back of your card. Remember, banks will never ask customers to move money to a safe account, or to share passcodes or PINs. 

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