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Coronavirus and fraud

Coronavirus scams

As fraudsters spot new opportunities to access your money, information and software during the coronavirus pandemic, here are a few ways we can help you stay safe.

Capitalising on coronavirus

Fraudsters may prey on your sense of uncertainty and fear to trick you into divulging information and making payments.

There are a number of coronavirus-related scams and malware campaigns in the UK, which are designed to encourage you to give away sensitive banking and personal information, or download malicious files onto your home or office computer.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your details, money and software safe from fraud.

What to look out for

Be extra vigilant if you receive emails, texts, calls or letters claiming to be from, or containing links to, these organisations

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
  • Global Health Centre
  • Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità (OMS)
  • Shipping company customer service teams
  • Updates from presidents of corporations
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)

You should also take care if you get any emails that mention coronavirus, especially if they reference

  • Tax refunds from gov.uk/HMRC
  • NHS goodwill gestures
  • A link for an app that tracks the virus using an interactive map
  • Business working conditions or policies
  • Campaigns raising money for research into cures, or funds for victims
  • Information about hospitals in affected areas
  • Mortgage repayment holidays or rent relief
  • Parcel shipping cancellations
  • Refunds from airlines or entertainment bookings
  • Money transfer requests for victims trapped abroad
  • Services claiming they can diagnose coronavirus
  • Websites where you can buy coronavirus masks, test kits, sanitiser gels or protective equipment
  • Services offering support on insurance refunds or payouts

Ways to stay safe

Please remain extra vigilant, and if someone emails, texts or calls you, remember

  • Don’t enter or provide your personal information, bank details, usernames or passwords
  • Speak to family or friends if you’re unsure and only contact a company or organisation using details you have verified
  • Don’t click on any links
  • Don’t download or open any attachments
  • Don’t enable macros in any attachments
  • Protect your computer and mobile devices with the most up-to-date security software
  • Don’t transfer money unless you know and trust the person, and have checked that the details are correct and have come from a trusted source
  • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is

If you get a message that looks relevant to something you’ve bought or a service you use, it’s still best not to reply, but contact the company claiming to have sent it via a different method you’re confident is secure – like a phone number or email address shown on its official website. For banks, you can use the phone number on the back of your card.

What to do with a suspicious message

Remember – we’ll never ask you to move money to a safe account, or to share your passcodes or PINs with us.

If you get an email or text that claims to be from us but looks suspicious, please forward it, along with any attachments if possible, to internetsecurity@barclays.com.

Visit Barclays Digisafe for further details on how to stay safe from fraud.