COVID-19 has created uncertainty and even financial instability for many people, with circumstances changing frequently. However, it appears cybercriminals have now latched onto the pandemic to exploit unsuspecting individuals. In a new and dangerous scam text message, Britons are told the Government is offering them a grant due to lockdown circumstances – worth close to £280.
Cybercriminals are able to use official looking spoof website in order to dupe people into entering their information.
Once a person inputs this data, it can then be stolen and used for nefarious purposes.
Britons who fall victim could see their bank account wiped or their identity stolen, and could face devastating consequences as a result.
Therefore, to avoid falling prey to such a scam, it is important to remain alert at all times.
Several people issued warnings to others about the COVID-19 grant scam currently circulating across the country, taking to social media.
One wrote: “I had a text last week telling me I was eligible for a COVID-19 relief grant – that’s a scam.”
Another said: “Beware emails purporting to be from the NHS which require you to fill out personal and financial details to either receive the vaccination or to obtain a Covid grant.”
And one local council issued an alert, stating: “We are continuing to warn people to be on their guard against COVID-19 scams.
“Some people are receiving a scam text message that looks to offer a coronavirus lockdown grant.
“If you receive this message, please do not click on any links and delete it.”
The Government has also provided guidance to help Britons keep on the look out for scams of this kind.
Its website explains a message, whether via email, text or phone, could be a scam if it appears out of the blue.
In addition, messages offering a grant, tax rebate or refund should also raise suspicions with the recipient.
A message asking for personal information such as bank details, or one which is threatening is usually a warning sign of a scam.
Finally, a message which asks or tells a person to transfer money will not usually be legitimate.
Those who have disclosed personal information are encouraged to reach out to HMRC and their bank at the earliest possible convenience.
If a person is a victim of a scam, and suffers financial loss, they are encouraged to report the matter to Action Fraud, the national cybercrime reporting service.