Tag: coronavirus

Online Fraud and Coronavirus in Scotland

Fraud in Scotland soared by 56% during the Spring/Summer lockdown, largely caused by criminals pretending to be NHS workers calling or visiting people.

There has also been a large number of fraudulent applications for UK government grants.

The criminals most commonly pretend to be officials of NHS Test and Protect. Some go door to door offering Coronavirus tests or collecting donations or offering to spray paths and driveways with anti- bacterial sprays etc.

This is all fake – you do not have to pay for Coronavirus tests (as long as you have symptoms or have been referred for a test by an official or a health worker).

The door-to-door activities are always fake – NHS Test and Protect staff will not turn up at your door unless they are tracking down contacts – and there is no charge involved in that.

As for spraying driveways and similar – this is just preying upon people’s fears and offers no benefit except to the scammer taking your money.


Criminals also called people’s homes, telling them they had to isolate for 14 days as they had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. The caller says they’ll send a home test kit and asks for bank details. Again, Covid tests are always free of charge.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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New York Coronavirus Frauds

By mid-summer, Americans had lost an estimated $145 Million to Coronavirus Fraud and more than 200,000 complaints of scams and fraud had been filed according to the Federal Trade Commission.

These scams are typically:

  • Fake products e.g. torches that supposedly shine light to destroy all viruses and bacteria but are just blue light which has no effect or PPE that is such poor quality as to be useless
  • Fake services e.g. people turning up at your door offering to sanitise your driveway for a high price
  • Fake tests i.e. fake versions of the real Coronavirus tests used by health professionals, but these ones do not work.
  • Fake claims for government help e.g. the companies that offered to make hospital ventilators and took payment for them but had no clue how to make them
  • Fake offers to businesses of loans to help them over Covid-19 restrictions

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, government and the authorities have been working hard to offer stimulus packages, business support grants and loans, plus various job retention schemes and direct help for the public.

Unfortunately, the speed of response has left loopholes which scammers are quick to exploit and they also seek to benefit from fear of the virus by offering products that don’t work and pointless services supposedly to protect people. The authorities have confiscated and prosecuted numerous criminals for trying to sell unauthorised Coronavirus tests and fake cures.

Some of the frauds are simple phishing exercises – intended to get your personal information that can be sold to identity thieves. The scammers simply use Coronavirus therapies or cures as bait for the scam.

The general advice from the authorities is to beware cold callers, spam emails and anyone offering anything to do with Coronavirus that is not certified.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Pharmacist and Surveyor Fake Coronavirus Tests

There are unscrupulous people who sell fake coronavirus tests. They know the tests are either entirely bogus or so unreliable as to be worse than useless. These can lead to people risking their lives if they believe they are immune to the virus but that’s not the case.

A pharmacist and a surveyor have been arrested for illegally selling coronavirus testing kits.

National Crime Agency officers arrested the pharmacist from Croydon and seized around £20,000. He was arrested under the Fraud Act 2006 after making false and misleading claims about the tests’ capability.

In a separate investigation, a surveyor from Uxbridge was stopped while driving his car. Inside the vehicle were 250 Covid-19 testing kits. He was arrested under the Fraud Act 2006 after making false and misleading claims about the capability of the tests.

He told investigators he was planning on selling the kits to construction workers.

Nikki Holland, NCA Director of Investigations, said: “Criminals capitalise on fear and anxiety and they will exploit any opportunity, no matter how awful, to line their pockets.

Tariq Sarwar, Head of Operations for Enforcement at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said: “We are committed to working together with law enforcement to protect public health and prevent unsafe medicines and medical devices getting to the public.

There are no certified coronavirus tests for sale in the UK for home use so if any are offered to you then they are illegal and a health risk and this should be reported to the Police.

Also, the Police encourage the public, and healthcare professionals, that if you spot any posts claiming to sell these types of products, these can be reported to us via the Yellow Card Scheme: https://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/

If you have any experiences with phishing scams do let me know, by email.

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Time-Wasters Update

Even Oxford and Cambridge doctors were alarmed when they saw this”.  A typical scammer’s opening gambit to get people interested or worried enough to click the link in the email which supposedly shows why washing your hands doesn’t protect you against Coronavirus and  instead you have a take a newly released group of ingredients that cleanses you from the inside.  Utter rubbish of course from a spammer paid to get you to click their link.

Yet another Coronavirus scam – this one claims “World Coronavirus Alert: Free Face Masks”. So, Laura Moore has thousands of such masks to give away to anyone who wants them. There are of course charities and individuals who do give away masks to health workers, care workers and members of the public. But this email is just a simple scam. It’s from kinf1people.rest which is obviously a meaningless made-up name and the .rest extension is supposed to be a restaurant. These pathetic losers try to take advantage of anyone in need. 

Another conspiracy theory message arrives. “EMERGENCY EMAIL Pandemic Survival”. This one has a long boring explanation of exponential growth that’s taken from a child’s book.  Then a story about a National Guardsmen who knows the secret truth about Coronavirus and will share it even though it’s likely to lead to his death. Clearly this scammer likes the dramatic touch. Some people want to believe any random rubbish. 

I shared this 7 second ritual with one of my clients a couple of months ago. She had been struggling with her weight all her life, but when she started this ritual, she had fast weight loss from her hips, thighs, face and arms.”. There is a link to click of course to see the evidence. But of course there is no evidence as the whole thing is a fantasy created by a scammer trying to sell you something that doesn’t exist.

High Returns Algorithm Investment Of Up To 28%”. This flood of emails is just a standard fake investment scam. Ignore such messages.

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The Track and Trace Scam

Across the UK, Track and Trace operations are working to contain each incidence of Coronavirus.

When someone tests positive for Coronavirus, then the relevant call centre contacts the person and asks for details of anyone they have been in close contact with, then they are also contacted.
All relevant people are then asked to self isolate for the following 14 days and where relevant to get a Coronavirus test as quickly as possible.

Scammers are finding ways to take advantage of this unusual situation and send texts or make calls pretending to be from a Track and Trace centre.

They say something like “Someone who came into contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 and you need to self-isolate / get tested. More at COVID-19anon.com/alert”.

That website will have a name that looks to do with Coronavirus but is of course fake.

The website is setup to get your confidential information and they will do the same with anyone you name as having been in close contact with.

The whole thing is an exercise in identity theft.

If you get a genuine call from Track and Trace – they will know your name and details already and will not ask for financial information or passwords etc.

The only genuine web site used by Track and Trace in England is https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/

If a caller does not know who you are – then it’s a fake call – do not argue with them, just put the phone down.

Track And Trace England use the number 0300 013 5000 for their calls and anything else is a scammer.

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