It feels like we’re all online even more these days, from home study and work to online shopping and socialising. Unfortunately this has led to an increase in ever more sophisticated online scams. No matter how tech savvy you are, it’s always worth reminding yourself of the basics for staying safe online:
Avoiding Track and Trace scams
As shops, pubs and restaurants reopen across the country, many will ask you to supply contact details to support the Track and Trace programme.
While this is undoubtedly contributing significantly towards the fight against COVID-19, it is also providing Cyber Criminals opportunities to target innocent people with phishing campaigns by pretending to be NHS Contact Tracers.
To help ensure you don’t fall victim to a scam, remember Contact Tracers will never:
- Ask you for any form of payment
- Ask you for any passwords or PINs
- Ask any details about your bank account
- Ask you to download anything
- Ask you to hand over control of your PC
- Send someone to your home
Don’t lose out when shopping online
Throughout much of the COVID-19 lockdown, many have been reliant on online retailers for their shopping whether it be for essentials, DIY supplies or just a little retail therapy.
It didn’t take long for Cyber Criminals to plan and launch new scams taking advantage of all this new almost entirely online shopping. Examples of such scams have included selling items that simply never existed, selling bogus COVID-19 testing kits or PPE, and even setting up entire fake shopping websites.
To help you ensure you continue to safely purchasing items on the web, Action Fraud have released their 8 top tips to shopping online safely.
And remember, on any website or email try to remember to hover over embedded links so you know where the link is taking you.
I’ve received a suspicious message, what should I do?
There has been an increase in email spam worldwide of over 400% during the COVID-19 pandemic, often using COVID-19 as an emotional hook to entrap people. Suspicious emails, dodgy phone calls and dubious text messages, we’ve all had them. It seems like every day there’s a new scam criminals are attempting to use to con you out of your hard earned cash.
It is sometimes difficult to know what to do if you get an email, phone call or text message which just doesn’t seem right, and even harder if you’ve already responded.
Thankfully, the National Cyber Security Centre have published excellent guidance on spotting suspicious messages, reporting them and even what to do if you have responded to one and also a guide to Phishing
If you receive a suspicious email to your University email account, do not click on any links and do not reply, but you should let us know by sending us the phishing email as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information is available on the IT Services website.
The IT Services website has a plenty of information and resources to help keep you safe online.