Avoiding fraud during Covid-19 pandemic

Avoiding fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic

Daventry District Council's Counter Fraud Team are working closely with the Government, national initiatives and other local authorities to share information about the latest fraud scams and how to avoid falling victim to them.

It is important that you remain vigilant and guard against criminals using the publicity around Coronavirus as a chance to target you with fraudulent emails, phone calls, texts messages or social media posts.

If you have been a victim of fraud or you wish to report a scam please visit the Action Fraud website


Fraud alerts

Business grants email fraud

The Council has been made aware of a scam email being sent to businesses. The authentic-looking email purports to be from your local council's Chief Finance (section 151) officer, stating you are eligible for a grant and inviting you to click on a link to ‘Start your Application’. 

Do not click on the link. This is a phishing scam - an attempt to obtain your personal and bank account details. 

Daventry District Council is not distributing grants via this process and has contacted all relevant businesses directly by letter.

You can find out information about how we are processing these grants on our Business Rates page


What to look out for if you suspect an email is fake:

Look at the email address it has come from. If it ends gov.com it is not genuine.

Check for spelling and grammar errors. In this email scam the word ‘authorise’ is spelt ‘authorize’ and the grammar is poor.

The logo is usually of poor quality and is likely to have been lifted from the official gov.uk website.


Reporting fake emails

If you receive a scam email please report it by forwarding it to: report@phishing.gov.uk

Find out more at www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails


Types of scams and how to avoid them

Email scams

Fraudsters purporting to be businesses or the Government offering you a service which you never receive. These types of scams are after your personal details such as emails, passwords and bank details.

Examples:

  • Research Groups: Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area but to access this information the victim needs to click on a link which redirects you to a page where you input your bank details. 
  • NHS: Emails asking for donations during the crisis. These emails ask you make a donation directly to a bank account.

 

Tips and guidance:

  • Do not click on suspect email links sent to you  
  • The NHS would not ask you to send money directly to a bank account. If you are wishing to donate to the NHS, please contact your local NHS Trust
  • There are no health groups at present offering any services where you can obtain active infection information
  • Please visit official sources such as the Government or NHS websites for the correct information and advice.
  • If you receive a scam email please report it at: report@phishing.gov.uk
  • Find out more at  www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails

 

Business Advice Mandate fraud

If you receive a request to move money into a new bank account, contact the supplier directly using established contact details, to verify and corroborate the payment request.

Tips and Guidance

  • Establish robust internal processes for handling changes to payment details. For example, only designated employees should be able to make changes to payment arrangements. 
  • Sensitive information: Invoices, payment mandates, and other documents containing sensitive financial information should be stored securely and only be accessible to those staff that need them to perform their duties. Sensitive documents should be shredded before they are disposed of.

  

Other frauds and scams

A range of information about other frauds and scams can be found on the A-Z of scams on the Action Fraud website

Further protection advice online can be found at: