Tim Mitchell, Content Director, Get Safe Online
You can be sure that whenever there’s a crisis, it will be accompanied by fraudsters preying on people’s emotions, needs and fears. From a humanitarian crisis in Asia, the Russian invasion of Ukraine or a fatal fire in the UK, you can be sure that the fake appeals for charity donations and invitations to enter your personal details in return for graphic images, will follow.
Perhaps your organisation has either been the victim of a fraud, either financially or by being impersonated to commit a crime.
The dire cost-of-living situation currently facing the UK does, indeed, represent a crisis. However, rather than one which we view remotely via our TV screens and newsfeeds, it’s one that is affecting millions right here in this country. Which makes it even easier than usual for fraudsters to successfully exploit those emotions, needs and fears. Not dissimilar, in a way, to the raft of COVID-19 related scams doing the rounds over the last two and a half years, with fake offers of anything from PPE to recovery loans, vaccinations to tax rebates and COVID passports to free shopping deliveries. To say nothing of the rash of fake texts and emails from ‘parcel delivery firms’ attributable to the quantum leap in online shopping spawned by the pandemic.
The above mentioned – together with the promise of various relief payments for UK households over the coming months – have conspired to create the perfect storm for fraudsters to do their worst.
Here are some of the scams that you’re likely to hear about – or may even be affected by – as people’s purse strings are tightened and increasing financial pressures. The list is by no means exhaustive as fraudsters are highly adept at keeping abreast of unfortunate situations with very convincing and persuasive messages.
This advice applies to you (and colleagues/co-workers) in the organisation you represent but also as an individual using the internet:
For more information visit www.getsafeonline.org/business where you can pick up some additional advice and learn about threats affecting many charities such as CEO fraud, payment diversion fraud and ransomware.