A message to the NetGuardians community on Covid-19 scams
Dear valued community member,
We hope that you stay safe and take care of your loved ones. The safety of our community is our utmost priority and we will continue to do all we can to help keep our customers, staff, and partners safe while ensuring our customers suffer no loss in the standard of service.
Our infrastructure is robust and allows us to work in situ and remotely – whether that is in Europe, Asia or Africa. This means we are well placed to help banks and other organizations stop the criminals as they try to exploit this global crisis.
Sadly, this crisis is not just one of health. Fraudsters are leaping at this opportunity, much as they do at any weakness. As part of that effort, I want to take this opportunity to bring a number of Covid-19-related scams to your attention so you can better protect yourselves and your customers. In March, there was a 400% increase in coronavirus related scams only in the UK, with victim losses totaling almost £970’000.
Observed scams include:
Phishing emails: We are seeing an increase in phishing emails where fraudsters attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments and clicking suspicious links leading to stealing people’s personal information, email logins, and banking details. Typically, fraudsters purport to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organisation (WHO).
Phone fraud: Fraudsters are impersonating health authorities to ask for cash, saying it will help fund their work or pay for the care of relatives. The WHO has said it never asks for cash; calls from hospitals should always be checked out.
Malware: Be aware of links in emails – even from your usual suppliers. Fraudsters have become highly skilled at impersonating bona fide organizations and embedding links that when clicked on install malware that gives them access to IT systems and private computers. Again, it is vital that everyone follows process and best practice to avoid falling prey to fraud.
We encourage all our community members who are concerned about fraud to get in touch so we can help. We are here to offer guidance and support and will regularly update you about emerging trends as well as share collective intelligence. We’ve fraud channels listed below that will be giving live updates and through which you can get in touch.
The recent news emerging from China is encouraging, indicating that containment measures can slow down transmission. By behaving responsibly, supporting one another and sharing information, I have no doubt that we will overcome these difficult times. Meanwhile, I urge everyone to follow the recognized guidelines about social distancing to stay safe and protect those they love and the communities in which they live.