Financial institutions in the UK are now stepping up their anti-fraud measures as a slew of new scams exploiting the ongoing epidemic have emerged. The scams utilize several new tricks to fool consumers, which includes fake sales of medical supplies and enticing users to click on emails that claim to provide government-funded financial relief.

According to several UK banks, there has been a surge of complaints coming from customers who have been targeted by scammers pretending to be representatives of banks, the government, and even health care companies. The fraudsters use their bogus credential to trick people into giving out their passwords, account numbers, and other personal data.

To mitigate the spread of the fraudulent schemes and to warn other potential victims, UK banks such as Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, and the Royal Bank of Scotland have separately launched social media campaigns. The posts made by the banks on social media outline the different tricks used by scammers, warning customers to stay away from those types of emails, texts, and other forms of communications.

So far, the most common type of trick that is being used by scammers is phishing emails. These types of emails typically look like legitimate emails coming from banks and other institutions. Another type of scheme that is increasingly becoming common is payment diversion fraud. These types of schemes are designed to trick businesses into making large payments for goods or services that are never going to be delivered.

One scheme that the banks and the government were able to crack down involved a fake email that asked business owners to make a 25,000-pound payment to a bogus government initiative called the Central Employers The scheme, which promised to cover sick day payments to employees diagnosed with Covid-19.

British banks have so far escalated the rollout of warnings across all communications channels, telling people to be wary of calls, email, and text messages from people pretending to be government or bank representatives.  

According to Action Fraud, the country's fraud and cybercrime reporting agency, most of the complaints they had recently received were related to online shopping. A growing number of fraudsters are posting listings for items such as hand sanitizers and protective face masks to take advantage of the growing demand.

The director-general of the National Economic Crime Center in the UK advised that people should think very carefully before they hand over their money. It is also important that people do not give out their sensitive or personal details until they are 100 percent sure that the person they are talking to is who they say they are.