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Coronavirus scams

As fraudsters spot new opportunities to access your money, information and software during the coronavirus pandemic, here are a few ways we can help you stay safe.

Capitalising on coronavirus

Unfortunately, fraudsters are using people’s sense of uncertainty and fear during the coronavirus pandemic to take advantage of vulnerable people and businesses.

There are a number of coronavirus-related scams and malware campaigns in the UK, which are designed to encourage you to give away sensitive banking and personal information, or download malicious files onto your home or office computer.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your details, money and software safe from fraud.

Buzzwords to look out for

Be extra vigilant if you receive emails, texts, calls or letters claiming to be from, or containing links to, these organisations

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
  • Global Health Centre
  • Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità (OMS)
  • Shipping company customer service teams
  • Updates from presidents of corporations
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)

You should also take care if you get any emails that mention coronavirus, especially if they also reference

  • A link for an app that tracks the virus using an interactive map
  • Business working conditions or policies
  • Campaigns raising money for research into cures, or funds for victims
  • Information about hospitals in affected areas
  • Mortgage repayment holidays or rent relief
  • Parcel shipping cancellations
  • Refunds from airlines or entertainment bookings
  • Money transfer requests for victims trapped abroad
  • Services claiming they can diagnose coronavirus
  • Tax refunds from gov.uk
  • Websites where you can buy coronavirus masks, test kits, sanitiser gels or protective equipment

Ways to stay safe

If you get an email like the one we’ve described above, don’t

  • Click on any links
  • Download or open any attachments
  • Enable macros in any attachments
  • Enter or provide your personal information, bank details, usernames or passwords
  • Forward it to colleagues
  • Reply to it

If you get a message that looks relevant to something you’ve bought or a service you use, it’s still best not to reply, but contact the company claiming to have sent it via a different method you’re confident is secure – like a phone number or email address shown on its official website. For banks, you can use the phone number on the back of your card.

What to do with a suspicious message

Remember – we’ll never ask you to move money to a safe account, or to share your passcodes or PINs with us.

If you get an email or text that claims to be from us but looks suspicious, please forward it, along with any attachments if possible, to internetsecurity@barclays.com.

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Fraud prevention and digital security

Smart tips to help protect yourself online, keep your personal data safe, avoid fraud and how to contact us if you suspect of misuse on your account.