Thursday 23rd Apr 2020
We are all naturally concerned about the fast-changing nature of the Coronavirus situation but unfortunately it is not just our health we need to worry about. We also have to keep alive to financial risks posed by this situation especially as we adapt with social distancing requirements being put in place including increased home working.
Often when there is large scale business interruption or change, fraudsters seek to exploit people by taking advantage of this situation to commit fraud. In fact, my personal e-mail was bombarded over the weekend by fraudulent e-mails trying to get me to open attachments or click on suspicious links, just two of the methods used by cyber criminals. The Fraud Advisory Panel website contains a list of the latest examples of frauds being seen.
I regularly get asked, how can people keep themselves and their businesses safe and my top tips are outlined below:
- Don’t be afraid to question any requests for identity data and information
To identify genuine requests, hover your cursor over the email sender to see if a legitimate email address is visible and stand back and think did you expect the email and then verify the sender's address.
- Don’t click on links from unknown senders
Cyber criminals may use subject headings such as “Coronavirus warning” leading to clicking on a link or open an attachment which may be a malware attack.
- Do be vigilant
There is a lot of commentary on the economy and for some, money and the need to press for payment may increase. Be vigilant about demands to pay urgently and always verify where you are sending money.
- Do be cautious to people offering you a way to keep your pension or savings safe
In this volatile market if it sounds to be good to be true it probably is, do not be fooled into transferring your assets by someone offering something others cannot.
There are a whole host of resources on the web to help you stay safe but below are some that I have found useful:
- 10 steps to cyber security
- Working from home and how to spot fake coronavirus emails,
- Allowing staff to use their own devices to work remotely, and
- How to deal with suspicious emails and messages.
If you only do one thing to protect yourself, your family and friends from fraud, I would recommend reading some of the top tips on the UK Finance endorsed website and pass on their advice:
You can read more about the author of this article Paul Hallett in our meet the team series