A NUMBER of scams have already been identified by the authorities as fraudsters try to cash in as Britain deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

Fake text messages purporting to be from the Government, HMRC and even the NHS, are asking unsuspecting victims to hand over their bank account details.

Meanwhile, fraudsters are understood to have made calls to both home and mobile phones, offering free tests, a treatment and even a cure for Covid-19.

According to OFCOM, which regulates communications in the UK, it has been made aware of a scam text which claims to be from the Government and offering a £458 payment related to Covid-19.

The text, which is sent from a sender called 'COVID', leads to a link which closely mimics the official gov.uk website and asks for your personal and baking details.

What are the scams?

The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived.

Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.

Phishing emails

There have been over 200 reports of corona virus-themed phishing emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:

• 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 either: click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page; or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account.

• Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates.

• Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the corona virus downturn.

• Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing.

What to do if you receive a scam message or call

If you or a family member receives a call, text or communication that you believe is a scam official advice is to hang up or delete the text and report the details to Action Fraud.

To contact Action Fraud visit actionfraud.police.uk or telephone them on 0300 123 2040.