It’s no April Fools – Corona Virus scams continue to be reported across Sussex

It seems we can’t be to careful about all the scams going on at the moment.

We are being constantly warned and just to reinforce the message, here is another reminder.

The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived.

Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:

• Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimics the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area, but to access this information the victim needs to either click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account

• Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates • Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn

• Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing

Stay safe and don’t fall victim to coronavirus fraudsters – if you have been victim to fraud, or for further advice, you can report fraud to Action Fraud UK

You can protect yourself by:

• Watching 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

• When shopping online, 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

• Protecting your devices from the latest threats – always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. The National Cyber security Centre offers advice on looking after your devices.

Sussex Police’s Operation Signature offers further information on how to keep yourself safe from unwanted callers and other approaches.

The NHS and Public Health England websites offer the latest health information and advice about Covid-19.​​​​​​​