Fraudsters are exploiting the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus to facilitate various types of fraud and cyber crime.
Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800k. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers. Reporting numbers are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world.
Phishing emails purporting to be about coronavirus
Fraudsters are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details.
Another tactics we’ve identified from victim reports include fraudsters purporting to be from research organisation’s affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) contact potential victims over email. They claim to be able to provide the recipient with a list of coronavirus infected people in their area. In order to access this information, the victim needs to click on a link, which leads to a malicious website, or is asked to make a payment in Bitcoin.
Protecting yourself against cyber threats
Watch out for scam messages
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
Shopping online safely
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases. For more information on how to shop online safely, visit: www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely
Protect your devices from the latest threats
Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. Find information on how to update your devices.
Cyber insurance from Towergate
Towergate are actively engaging with insurers and our clients to obtain cyber protection for businesses of all sizes, to protect against the very real and growing threats of the digital age. We can offer cyber insurance for businesses to help protect you should the worst happen.
Get a cyber insurance quote online.
About the author
Mark Brannon Cert CII is a respected industry leader with over 17 years’ industry experience in a variety of roles within the business insurance sector. He works across a wide spectrum of insurance product and policy development, delivery and optimisation for clients, including claims, insurer relationships, marketing and communications, and risk management.
Read more cyber insurance articles
The information contained in this bulletin is based on sources that we believe are reliable and should be understood as general risk management and insurance information only. It is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and cannot be relied upon as such. If you wish to discuss your specific requirements, please do not hesitate to contact your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers adviser.