Coronavirus scams you need to know about Our customers, colleagues and communities are our biggest priority. We're here to support you. Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe from the scammers trying to access your money, information and software during the coronavirus pandemic. Stay one step ahead Scammers are using the publicity around Covid-19 as an opportunity to pose as a trusted organisation such as a bank, law enforcement, government or health service provider. They’re sending emails and texts designed to trick you into giving them sensitive personal and financial information. They’ve been asking people to click on links to fake government websites. They also use pressure-tactics to convince those people to quickly move money into another account. Or, trick them into paying a fake fine. These messages can look very real as they look like they’re coming from a trusted source. For example, some scammers have been able to show fake messages in existing threads from GOV.UK, which makes them look genuine. Nuisance messages 1. Fake text from HMRC offering money as a goodwill payment. This scam promises you money. £258 as part of a scheme related to Covid-19. If you click on the link, they’ll try and trick you into giving them sensitive information when you make a claim. By clicking the link, there’s also a risk that malicious software may infect your device. 2. Fake email stating you’re eligible for a tax refund. This scam also promises you money. They want you to click on a link within the email and give them your most recent information. They will use this to commit fraud. 3. Fake text threatening fines linked to Covid-19. This scam will try to scare you. They will threaten you with a fine. They’re trying to trick you into making a payment to a bank account controlled by them, the scammers. Keep your guard up Please be on your guard if you receive any messages that look like they’re the Government or other trusted organisations such as a financial services provider. Be extra careful if the message promises you money or asks you to pay an unexpected fine. Be scam proof Don’t click on links included in unexpected texts or emails. Check the validity of the message. If you receive any communications about possible refunds, grants, rebates, financial support or fines, don’t click on the link in the message. Open up your browser and go to the official government website, GOV.UK, where they’re sharing all the information about Covid-19. If you receive a message from what appears to be your bank, always check it by contacting your bank using a trusted source. Remember, your bank, a trusted organisation or a government department will never ask you to disclose sensitive personal information. By sensitive personal information, we mean things like your online banking information, PIN number, the 16 digit number on your debit or credit card or full password details. If you receive a message directing you to a website or are contacted by someone asking for these details, do not share any information as it may be a scam. Take your time Scammers will usually try and pressure you into sending money or sharing your details. They’ll say things like your financial account is under threat or you’ll be arrested if you don’t comply. An organisation you trust will never try to panic or pressure you or stop you from talking to friends or family. Neither will they force you into making a bank transfer or card payment on the spot. If you’re receiving messages that are threatening in nature, it’s a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is Criminals are attempting to lure people with the promise of money, in exchange for providing sensitive personal information or by making a modest payment in order to obtain a larger one. Don’t trust a message that says you’re entitled to ‘free’ money for the exchange of sensitive personal information. Check that it’s genuine. The Government is offering financial help and has published all the details on GOV.UK. If you receive an unexpected email saying you’re entitled to money, please visit the GOV.UK site for the most up to date information on what might be available to you. National Crime Agency advice STOP: Take a moment, stop and think before parting with money or information. CHALLENGE: It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Don’t let them rush or panic you. PROTECT: Contact your bank or other provider immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam. Useful linksIf you want to know more about protecting yourself from the risk of fraud, please visit the Security section of our website.If you think you might have fallen victim to a scam in relation to one of our products or services, please contact us immediately.