Updated: Jun 22, 2020
Never waste a good crisis - or so the fraudsters in our society seem to think. We live in uncertain and troubling times. The world is in lockdown, adults are worried about elderly parents, jobs and their children. For some however, life is changed but unchanged - working from home, home-schooling children, sending phishing emails, charging people for products and services that won't arrive, extracing money from pension funds and investments.
For fraudsters, a crisis is a busy time and an opportunity to grow their business and take advantage of people's fears and concerns.
There has been a marked increase in identified fraudulent activity - with the National Crime Agency, the National Economic Crime Centre and others warning businesses and consumers to be wary of scammers exploiting the current crisis. When you are stressed and distracted by other concerns, that is when you are more likely to click on that email link without thinking it through, or purchase protective products (such as masks, hand sanitiser) from that company you've never heard of before - or respond to the phone call telling you that your broadband needs fixing because how will you work if the broadband isn't working? So now is the time to:
Stop - take a moment and think before you part with money or information
Challenge - it's ok to refuse, question and ignore a request
Protect - Contact your bank if you think you've fallen victim to fraud and alert Action Fraud
If you are concerned, or would like to know more the following sites have good advice on how to spot and report fraud for consumers and businesses.
About the author: Rachel Gentry is a commercial change and transformation consultant. Her experience spans public and private sectors, retail, financial services and telecomms. Secretly, a bit of a technology geek she primarily provides advisory services that support executive and leadership teams to maximise operational performance and investment.