COVID-19 has presented many challenges for businesses and individuals all over the UK, particularly those who are vulnerable. The elderly and those considered high-risk have been advised to isolate themselves during this difficult time, and unfortunately, financial scammers have used these new social distancing measures as a platform for a new wave of financial scams.
From pension scams and lender loan fraud, to scams surrounding school meals and medical supplies, there is a chain of financial scams going around that you should protect yourself and your family members from during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 scams to look out for
Protecting yourself from financial scams
The National Crime Agency has released a 3-step approach to protecting yourself and those you love from scams during COVID-19. This process includes 3 simple steps that are highly effective.
- Stop – Take a moment to stop and think before you part ways with any money or any other valuable information. Don’t be afraid to tell a caller you’ll call them back.
- Challenge – Do you suspect a hoax? Reject or ignore it immediately.
- Protect – Report the scam as soon as possible to Action Fraud and contact your bank if you think you’ve fallen victim to a COVID-19 financial scam. You can report any potential spam emails to the government directly by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, you should always check if financial advisors are registered with the FCA before deciding whether or not to invest your hard-earned money.
What to do if you’re caught up in a COVID-19 scam
If you’ve already been caught out by one of these scams, you’re certainly not alone. COVID-19 has raised the pension fraud threat level and the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said it took down over 2,000 online coronavirus scams in March 2020. Thankfully, there are actions you can take to claim back any finances lost.
If you’ve fallen victim to a scam, such as a financial investment scam, you should contact your bank immediately. More often than not scams are detected too late to reverse any decisions – and that’s where an investment claims company can help.
Organisations like Expert Pension Claims can help you claim compensation for any financial mis-selling you might have fallen victim to, including any pension scams that occurred during COVID-19.
You can of course make a claim yourself either directly to the adviser or the Ombudsman for free, but Expert Pension Claims, a specialist claims management company, has recovered over £5 million for their customers since 2012 and could help resolve any case where miss selling has occurred. It’s never too late to claim back what is rightfully yours.