Malicious actors are increasingly leveraging COVID-19 as a theme for new digital fraud attacks. In February 2020, for instance, Action Fraud received 21 reports of fraud relating to the coronavirus. This number of reports more than doubled to 46 between March 1 and March 13, 2020. Between March 14 and March 18, 2020, the United Kingdom’s national fraud reporting center collected 38 reports alone.
Those 105 reports represented a collective total of £970,000 in losses.
Acknowledging this growing surge in fraud attempts, we at the State of Security feel it’s important to keep our readers informed about what some of these latest coronavirus-themed attacks look like. Towards that end, let’s take a look at a few COVID-19 scams that made headlines this past week.
Red Cross Impersonators Selling COVID-19 Home Tests
Snopes.com learned of a scam in which fraudsters impersonated Red Cross volunteers in an attempt to victimize concerned individuals. These attackers said that they were working for Red Cross and that they were offering COVID-19 home tests door-to-door.
In the case someone fell for the ruse, these malicious actors could have fraudulently charged their victims for a test that they never administered. They could have also simply robbed their victims upon gaining entry to their homes.
The Red Cross confirmed to Snopes.com that it is not instructing victims to visit people door-to-door:
The Red Cross is not going to people’s homes to offer coronavirus tests. If someone comes to your house claiming that they work for the Red Cross and that they’re authorized to do coronavirus testing, do not allow them in your home. Our most important guidance is for people to please be safe. Should such an incident occur, we ask that you call the police as soon as possible.
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