Covid-19 scammers: what to look out for

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With a huge spike in online shopping and services, and people signing up to streaming platforms, it’s now more important than ever to think before you put your details online.

A recent scam tried to email and text people to give them a ‘free subscription’ to Netflix. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case - it was using a fake domain ‘netflix-usa.net’ instead of the regular Netflix.com.

Fraudsters use any opportunity they can to make money, including exploiting tragedies and global emergencies, preying on people’s kind nature.

Things you can do to protect yourself and others from these malicious activities:

  • Does it seem too good to be true? If it does, it’s likely to be a scam. Is there a miracle drug to protect you? Unless it’s in the news it’s probably not true. Ignore fake medical advice and trust the official guidance from organisations such as the NHS, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation
  • Follow the basics - don’t give out your personal or financial details if you’ve been cold called or been sent suspicious emails.
  • Flag it to Action Fraud and they can look into it for you.
  • If you’re using your University emails, emails sent from outside the GRE network (gre.ac.uk) will be marketing with [EXTERNAL] – pay special attention to these, even if they’re named from a person you recognise (e.g. staff member or student).
  • Don’t buy goods from the doorstep.
  • Make sure your devices are up to date with the latest software to protect from the latest digital threats.
  • Remember, it’s easy for someone to steal a logo, so if you need to check give the company a ring from their official website. It’s better to wait for a reply than rush into a scam.


Not everyone is good at spotting scams online, so if you can help an older relative or vulnerable person to order shopping or essential items, you can help to protect them from fraud.

 

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