Coronavirus (COVID-19) – financial scams and cyber security

June 19, 2020   //   No Comments

HMRC are warning that criminals are taking advantage of Coronavirus and the package of measures to support people and businesses announced by the Government. They text, email or phone businesses offering spurious financial support or tax refunds.

These try to get financial and personal information or attempt to infiltrate computer systems to steal data or demand ransom. HMRC has detected more than 95 Covid-related financial scams since March, most
by text message. They have asked Internet Service Providers to take down more than 100 web pages associated with these frauds.

  • HMRC’s advice to businesses:
  • Stop: If you receive a request to make an urgent payment, change supplier bank details, or provide financial information, take a moment to stop and think.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? Verify all payments and supplier details directly with the company on a known phone number or in person first.
  • Check GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.
  • If you think you have received an HMRC-related phishing/bogus email or text message, you can check it against examples published on GOV.UK.
  • Protect: Contact your business’ bank immediately if you think you’ve been defrauded and report it to Action Fraud.
  • Use the latest software, apps and operating systems on your phone, tablet or laptop.
  • Update these regularly or set your devices to automatically update.
  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

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