If you receive an invite to join a video chat (such as Zoom, Houseparty, Skype etc) make sure you check with the person who sent it. If you do not recognise the person who sent the message/link, delete it. There have also been instances of people ‘Zoom bombing’ conversations – this is where an uninvited person joins your meeting and it can allow them to listen in and post unwanted content. Avoid sharing the link to your meeting publicly and ideally add password protection.
FAKE INSURANCE COMPANIES
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, many people have lost money through cancelled gigs, holidays and events. Scammers are sending out text messages, calls and emails claiming they can help recover lost money. Never click any links in these messages and do not give out any personal data, such as your name, address, national insurance number or bank details.
Scammers are also using stolen company branding to try and pass themselves off as a legitimate company and sell fake insurance policies that cover for claims relating to the pandemic. If you are looking for insurance, do not click any links in emails or text messages, always find the company’s website yourself using google (or another trusted search engine).
Scammers posing as legitimate companies are sending emails and text messages asking you to verify, update or reactivate your account. Some are also posing as the Government offering tax refunds and fines. Do not click links and do not give any payment details, such as credit/debit card numbers or bank details.
FAKE 'ANTI-CORONAVIRUS' APPS
Hackers have created fake ‘anti-virus’ apps that claim to protect you from Coronavirus, or claim to find people in your local area who have contracted the virus. Do not be fooled in to download these apps. They can damage your device and allow the hackers to gain access to your personal info.
If you are suspicious about any message or link you have been sent, your best option is to go to the company's website by manually typing in the URL rather than clicking on any links in an email or text message.
If you receive any calls claiming to be from a company, such as a bank or insurance provider, you should end the call and find a helpline number online. By calling them yourself you can be sure that you are actually speaking to the company and not a scammer!
Never give out any of your details over the phone to someone who has called you out of the blue. This includes national insurance numbers, policy/account numbers and any other account details.
Never give out passwords or pin numbers over the phone either, even if the caller knows other details such as your name and address.
Always check the credentials of the company that’s calling you and don’t be pressured into agreeing anything over the phone.
If you need to contact your insurer, use the contact details on their official website, not any that may be included in an email or text message.
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Be skeptical of all calls, texts, apps and emails making claims that promise you wonderful things and investigate further before clicking links and installing apps.
If you need any further advice or guidance, you can always get in touch with one of our ENSA Advisers.