With the world shaken up by the COVID-19 pandemic, the last thing we need is a huge influx in scams, lo and behold, 2020 has hit us by another element.
Scamming and fraud have always been a huge issue in today’s technology and society, but recently during this pandemic, fraud cases had a huge increase by 400% in March this year according to ActionFraud.
It’s a shocking result and it does make you realize how easy it is to fall victim to these scams. The government began advising people that there would be an influx in scamming and warned those to be careful. What makes this worse is that the scammers are extremely crafty when it comes to techniques to be able to scam you. No matter how much you know about the scams, it’s still so easy to fall victim to these crude methods of fraud.
Since lockdown began, suppliers started notifying their customers that some orders would be canceled. Since this can be done through email or text message, scammers would transmit fake messages claiming their product was cancelled and that they need to ‘claim their refund’ and then proceed to ask for bank details.
Pet scams and product scams have also recently influx relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pet scams are when a person poses to have a pet up for adoption and uses COVID-19 as an excuse for the person not visiting the pet. From here they can try to deceive to proceed further by ‘needing pet vaccinations’ or ‘insurance’ when in reality, they get your money and leave. It relates to item/product selling within marketplaces like Facebook, posing that they’re selling a product they don’t have.
Pension scams have also seen a huge rise during COVID-19. Pensions scamming has also always been a thing, but they propose to be someone talking about their retirement savings. Since the people are the most vulnerable here, it is often targeted. A common tactic people use is that the pensioner can claim an ‘early access’ benefit offer.
A good way to avoid these scams is to educate yourself on how these people do what they do. Their target are the people who aren’t educated on fraud scams and how you’re approached, they want to target the vulnerable.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you receive a text, call or email regarding something regarding a pension, offer or a product, it’s best not to reply to it if you do not know who it is. This being said, ask them a lot of questions and put them on their feet to verify their identity of a company.
We asked London based Magna Group for a comment, and their CEO said:
“We are appalled that fraud scamming has significantly increased during a terrifying time in all of our lives. We are all in the same boat with this shocking virus, and it’s truly sad to see people being taken advantage of at a time like this.”
Oliver Mason – Co-Founder, Magna Group