Prior to BREXIT, scammers were trying to scam people worried about what would happen, by offering fake government advice, fake government services to help businesses to transition to the new rules etc.
Then they switched to more threatening forms of scam e.g. you are not obeying the rules and must fill in some fake government form or be prosecuted or simply threats about paying fines or else face imprisonment.
Since BREXIT happened most of these scams disappeared but not all of them.
Scammers are sending out text messages and emails telling people they have to confirm their identity i.e. provide personal information / bank details to ‘keep up with EU standards’.
These messages are fake.
The messages contain a link to a website designed to look official and to get that information from you to pass to the scammer.
Some Common Scams
Many business scams start with the scammer pretending to be from HMRC.
They may warn of non-compliance with the rules and need you details to confirm or may want you to sign up to some new guidance or want you to register your details with them.
HMRC do contact businesses of course but they never ask for confidential information by email or text message. If in doubt as to whether any messages are real – contact HMRC directly.
Bogus Brexit Investment Schemes
Scammers cold call businesses offering fantastic new schemes for making lots of money from opportunities through Brexit changes.
Cold calls offering investments are always fake.
Phishing / Vishing / Smishing
Phishing, vishing and smishing mean respectively, email fraud, telephone fraud and text message fraud.
Scammers use all three methods to try to get confidential information from you which can then be used by other scammers and in identity theft.
Typically, the scammers pose as government officials, new customers, suppliers, the Police, your bank or any regulatory body etc.
Never give out sensitive information without verifying the caller or texter or email sender and never click on links in unsolicited messages of any kind.
The pandemic has caused chaos in worldwide transport of goods, shortage of shipping containers, shortage of drivers etc. and some scammers are offering special deals to alleviate these problems. The scammers have no real solutions of course – just lies to make money for themselves and leave people in a much worse situation.
Do not enter into commercial arrangements with anyone without having verified that they are a real business and they have a sound track record or you are likely to regret it.
Remember – if a deal looks too good to be true, the chances are that it is.