Warnings issued over Covid-19 identify theft scams

A number of organisations including RBS, The European Anti-Fraud Office and Cifas have issued warnings to consumers and businesses over the emergence of new Covid-19 related identity fraud scams. Currently over 275 Covid related financial scams have been detected during lockdown. 

This year alone the anti-fraud office has identified over 1,000 operations targeting consumers with fake vaccines and Covid-19 protection products and it is reminding people that the legitimate vaccines are being administered through the NHS. The NHS will never ask for financial details, passwords, login details or copies of personal documents such as passports, driving licences, payslips or bills.  

Cifas is also warning against reports of fake Covid-19 related jobs being advertised on social media. These roles advertise a variety of roles from Covid testers to admin support, and in most cases ask for personal and financial details as well as the details of anyone that they know have passed away from Covid-19, all of which are later used to commit identity theft. 

Jobseekers are being asked to research whether a company is legitimate by checking the Companies House website. Anyone who has been offered a job and thinks it might be scam should contact the organisation directly using officially listed contact details to confirm the offer is genuine. 

Business are being asked to tighten identification processes since the increase in scams is leading to more personal data being sold on the dark web, which in turn is leading to a significant increase in identity fraud attempts. In fact, a study by Privacy Affairs shows that prices for personal information on the dark web have dropped significantly during the pandemic given the influx of new data highlighting the scale of the problem. 

For more information about how to protect your organisation against deceased identity fraud please don’t hesitate to contact us.