Predicted Scams in 2022

Action Fraud, Cifas, and UK Finance collectively received 822,276 fraud reports in 2019-20. Of which, 698,934 (85%) were online based scams. The National Crime Agency also believe that only about 20% of scams are reported suggesting there are probably several million cases of cybercrime every year in the UK.

It’s no surprise that the number and total value of scams is expected to increase in 2022.

Scams predicted to be the most common in 2022 are:

1: Cryptocurrency Scams

These scams are very big business and target mostly younger people.

They usually start with adverts on social media offering guaranteed profits and often use photos of celebrities with claims that the celebrity has made a fortune from cybercurrency investment and wants you to do the same.

These can be called ‘get rich quick’ schemes and are always fake.

2: Coronavirus Vaccine scams

Scammers have been taking advantage of the pandemic in every way they can since it began.

Since the start of the initial vaccine roll-out in December 2020, scammers have been trying to con people into paying for vaccines by sending out fake NHS text messages, emails and also cold calling.

The NHS contact people by letter and text messages to let them know when it’s their turn for their vaccine or booster, however they will never ask you for your personal information, log-in details and passwords, or bank details.

3: NHS COVID Pass Scams

The UK requires Covid passes for some events and some venues. This is freely available from the NHS but scammers have been exploiting this by sending text messages to people saying their Covid pass is ready but they need to pay for it.

These text messages appear to be from the NHS and read something along the lines of ‘you are now eligible to apply for your COVID Pass, proving you have been vaccinated’. A link will be included which will take you to a malicious website, designed to look like the NHS website, where you will be asked for your personal details and for payment to obtain your pass.

4: Romance Scams

During the Lockdowns, many people have been more lonely and online dating has become much more popular.

Romance scams typically involve malicious minded criminals who develop relationships with people over a long period of time so they can build their trust. Once they’ve built up enough trust, they’ll start to make up reasons why they need money and plead for your help.

If you’re suspicious of someone’s behaviour on a dating website, or if they’ve asked you for money or to make an investment, then it’s important that you report them on the site or app. This will protect not only you, but also others from being scammed.

5: Payment Fraud

Payment diversion fraud is where scammers intercept payments or create /amend invoices in order to divert money to bank accounts under their control.

Action Fraud say the average loss to payment diversion fraud is around £30,000 per business or individual.

This fraud usually involves the scammers hacking email accounts so they can pretend to be a supplier for example asking for payments to go to a different bank.

Be very cautious if you receive an email from a supplier, or solicitor, requesting you to change the bank details you have on record for them. If you receive an email like this, phone them directly and check that this is genuine. Don’t email them back or use any contact details provided in the email, go to a known trusted contact or use the contact details on their website.

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