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Warning on coronavirus-related scams

25th March 2020

Fraudsters are using the coronavirus outbreak as an opportunity to scam pension savers out of their retirement savings, according to a report.

Action Fraud said there were 105 reports of coronavirus-related fraud since 1 February 2020, with total losses amounting to £970,000.

There were 20 reports of COVID-19 scams last month, followed by 46 reports between 1 March and 13 March 2020.

As the epidemic deepens in the UK, a sharp spike - 38 reports - was reported in the four days between 14 and 18 March 2020.

Most reports were related to online shopping scams, specifically targeting people who had ordered protective face masks and hand sanitiser.

Coronavirus-themed phishing emails offering bogus investment schemes and trading advice have also been reported, along with fake tax rebates.

Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said:

"We would urge the public to be vigilant against criminals using the publicity around the coronavirus as a chance to target their victims with fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages or social media posts.

"Remember - your finance provider and the police will never contact you out of the blue and ask you to move your money."

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