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Covid-19 Scams - Be Aware What To Look Out For!

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Driven by people’s fears and the lack of medical supplies, crimes related to the pandemic are spreading around the globe as fast as the coronavirus.

Here are some examples of the scams that have been discovere;

  • In Kenya, Ten employees were arrested for creating fake testing kits and selling them for $6 a pop. It then offered to help cure you if you tested positive - a spa offered to help cure them. Not a medical professional in sight.
  • Con artists in Estonia and Cyprus offer home disinfection service but just steal the victims money.
  • Cybercriminal gangs send phishing emails titled "coronavirus awareness" to healthcare professionals.
  • A cyber attack shut down the IT network of the Brno University Hospital in the Czech Republic. Doctors were forced to postpone urgent surgical interventions and send new acute patients to other hospitals.

Scam in the UK

In the UK, the elderly are getting fraudulent phone calls, scamming them out of thousands of pounds of their retirement savings.

The scammers call up elderly people and claim to be a hospital. They tell them that a loved one is in intensive care after catching the virus. They say they're in critical condition but they can’t administer life saving drugs until the hospital bill is paid. They ask the victim to pay the bill.

Interpol and Europol have flagged it and apparently critical care in Europe during this time is all free. We must make sure we protect our parent, the vulnerable and elderly during this time.

Spotting the Scams...The Warning Signs

If you are looking to buy medical supplies online, or receive emails or links offering medical support, be alert to the signs of a potential scam to protect yourself and your money.

  • Independently verify the company offering the items before making any purchases - use google, review sites and verification sites like TrustPilot
  • Be aware of fake websites – criminals will often use a web address which looks almost identical to the legitimate one, e.g. ‘abc.org’ instead of ‘abc.com’;
  • Payments - be wary if asked to make a payment to a bank account located in a different country. If in isolation and someone else is getting your medicine/food shopping for you, pay them in cash when they deliver it. Do not give them your credit / debit card.
  • Links & Attachments - be especially wary of links and attachments being sent to you via email or text message. Do not click on links or open attachments which you were not expecting to receive, or come from an unknown sender;
  • Emails - be careful of unsolicited emails offering medical equipment or requesting your personal information for medical checks – legitimate health authorities do not normally contact the general public in this manner.

Scammers use trusted sites like Amazon and eBay to sell products, sending buyers an empty box or not even that.

Fallen Victim to a Scam?

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, alert your bank immediately so the payment can be stopped.

In our SOS Centre here, we have a SOS response video tutorial showing you everything you need to do if you've fallen victim.

Ask for help in our forum and our experts will help you. Ask us anything you want, even if you're unsure if something is a scam or not, we can check for you.

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