Coronavirus scam warning: These are the phishing emails that have costed the UK millions | Personal Finance | Finance

Coronavirus scams are a real problem. Around £2million has been lost to coronavirus related fraud, with at least 824 people falling victim since the beginning of the year according to Action Fraud.

Names of patients revealed

“In this phishing attempt, scammers are posing as representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and offering to release names of those infected with COVID-19 in your area in exchange for payment.

“They may ask you to perform a bank transfer or ask for a payment in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

“The email will contain a link which you are urged to click on so you can make the payment. You will be asked for your bank details as well as personal information such as your name, address and date of birth.”

Get the latest statistics

“This is another phishing email where the scammers pose as The World Health Organisation (WHO) but this time they are offering you up-to-date Coronavirus statistics and all you have to do is follow a link.

“However, the link will infect your device with malicious malware of viruses that could lock you out of your computer, take control of your computer, or access your personal and financial details in order to commit identity theft.

Coronavirus safety measures

“Scammers are sending out phishing emails where they’re offering medical advice and various ‘safety measures’ you can take in order to protect yourself from Coronavirus.

“Again, they ask you to follow a link or to download a PDF file which will infect your devise with viruses or malware.”

HMRC tax refund

“Some scammers are posing as HMRC and saying that tax refunds are part of the government’s action plan to help people cope with income shortages amid the crisis.

“This is not part of the government’s plan and HMRC will never, under any circumstances, contact you via email, text or phone call to offer you a tax refund. This is an attempt to steal your personal information and bank details.”

Phishing scams can be difficult to spot as they can purportedly come from reputable organisations.

One such organisation is the World Health Organisation, a body that many are turning to for guidance as coronavirus spreads.

This could make more susceptible to scams that look like they’re from WHO but they organisation has provided information on their website to help with this.

They have stated very clearly that they will never ask for personal details in an e-mail, a common trait of the fraudulent.

On top of this, they also clarify that they will never send email attachments that the receiver didn’t ask for, nor will they send any links outside of

Email addresses that don’t end with “” should also raise red flags.

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