As the spread of coronavirus has resulted in major changes and disruption to our lives, there has been a huge increase in the number of scams and cybercrime.

The National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, has launched ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign promoting behaviours to mitigate threats and created a world-leading scam reporting service for people to flag suspicious emails for the NCSC to assess and take down malicious content. Read more here. You can report suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk.

The Charity Fraud Awareness Hub is a one stop shop for helpsheets, case studies and webinars, including their webinar: COVID-19 and charity fraud: what to watch out for and how to stay safe.

Read the latest warning for the public from Northumbria Police

Friends Against Scams has produced a useful information sheet of things to look out for in order to stay safe and are also offering a free online awareness session to become a Friend Against Scams.

Businesses Against Scams has been set up by the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team and includes a number of resources that companies can share with their employees which can educate them on a variety of common business related frauds, these are: Government grant and tax rebate scams; CEO fraud; Invoice/mandate fraud and Tech support scams. You can sign up on their website for access to an online training powerpoint and factsheets that you can share with your team.

Take Five is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

HMRC: Unsurprisingly, many scams are disguised as communications and services from HMRC. To help raise awareness, HMRC has published a list of examples, with pictures, of recently reported HMRC scams, including a new one claiming to be about a tax refund from your 2018 tax return.

Whilst many of these appear to be very convincing, if you look at the ‘from’ email address or the website address you can see that they are not official domains. HRMC says they will never send notifications by email about tax rebates or refunds. HMRC will never ask for personal or financial information when they send text messages.

If you receive a text scam you can send phishing text messages to 60599 (network charges apply) or email phishing@hmrc.gov.uk then delete it.

Urgent-sounding messages are a common tactic used by criminals. Be wary of any texts or emails asking for your personal or financial details.

Software Updates – Remember to update software on your devices otherwise your devices and data may be left vulnerable to cyber criminals.

The National Cyber Security Centre has issued guidance as home working increases in response to COVID-19. The advice is to help organisations manage the cyber security challenges of increased home working.

Let’s Talk About It is an initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance to the public in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. They have created a Parent-Guardian Online Radicalisation Information and Support document to help parents better understand online radicalisation and what to look out for.

Scroll through the images below to see the different scam warnings.