Avoiding coronavirus scams

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Unfortunately, in these uncertain times where people may be feeling anxious, fraudsters are taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak. Scammers target everyone – and they’re using increasingly sophisticated tactics.

To help you stay safe from these new scams, we've highlighted some of the advice given by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and Cifas – the UK’s leading fraud prevention service. 

Recent coronavirus scams

Each week, Cifas publishes the latest coronavirus scams on their website. We recommend you check their newsroom for updates regularly, as new scams are emerging all the time. Some scams to watch out for include:

  • NHS Test and Trace phishing emails, telling the recipient they’ve been in contact with someone who has coronavirus and threatening legal action if they don’t click on a link in the email
  • Fraudulent emails that look like they’re from well-known supermarkets, asking recipients to share links in return for shopping vouchers
  • Remote workers are being targeted by phishing emails claiming to give them access to their voicemail recordings.
  • Fake job adverts on legitimate recruitment websites asking for financial details before or during interviews.

Continuing scam

  • Phishing campaings (using emails to target people) that claim to be from legitimate health organisations, most notably the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Always check the email address of the sender – all official emails from WHO will end with @who.int. Emails ending in anything else are likely to be a scam. Emails from us will always end @marcus.co.uk or @gs.com.
  • Watch out for new coronavirus-related scams on things like insurance policies, pensions transfers or ‘high-return’ investment opportunities – if it appears too good to be true then it probably is.
  • Hoax text message campaigns, scam calls or posts on social media offering things like free home testing kits or cures for COVID-19. Social media posts and ads from us will always come from our official Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages.

The FCA's top things to be mindful of:

You can find more advice on how to stay safe from fraudsters and cybercriminals on our security page.

Reporting scams

If you suspect a scam, you should tell Action Fraud straight away.

And if you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud related to your Marcus account, please call our Customer Care Team on 0800 085 6789, or +44 203 901 3353 if you’re calling from abroad. Our lines are open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

The content in this article is for information only and is not advice. All content in this article was accurate on the date of publication shown above.