Coronavirus cybercriminals attack UK businesses

Coronavirus cybercriminals attack UK businesses

Fraudsters target online activities

Online fraudsters are taking advantage of the current COVID-19 crisis, targeting unsuspecting companies with phishing emails, fake websites and sales of fraudulent coronavirus-related items. Company Director, Michael Chadwick, warns businesses to take extra care with their online activities to ensure they do not become victims.

Job Retention Scheme scams

The Government’s Job Retention Scheme has generated large numbers of fraudulent emails claiming to be from the HMRC’s Chief Executive, requesting bank details in order to pay government funds. Businesses are urged to be cautious about handing over private company data and to carry out proper checks before going ahead.

Fraudulent online shops

The National Cyber Security Centre has removed more than 2,000 online COVID-19 scams over the last month. This includes fake online shops selling coronavirus-related items, computer virus distribution sites set up to inflict significant damage to visitors and advance-fee frauds promising a large sum of money in return for a set-up payment.

Procurement fraud

Charities are also warned to be vigilant after criminals have targeted this sector. Scams include procurement fraud, where online sales of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks and gloves, never arrive or do not meet the required standards.

We are here to help

There has been a dramatic rise in cybercriminal activity in recent weeks, so businesses are urged to carry out proper due diligence if making a purchase from a company or person unknown to them, and to make sure they complete thorough checks before handing over private company data.

If you have concerns about any of the matters discussed in this blog or any other financial matter, we are able to offer expert support and guidance.

HMRC's suspicious email reporting service can be reached at phishing@hmrc.go.uk. You can also email or call us on 0161 370 9600.