Beware sharks

The coronavirus crisis has the potential to be big business for criminals. Stressed business owners and employees make easy prey and HMRC warns that fraudsters are already looking to capitalise on the situation.

The coronavirus crisis has the potential to be big business for criminals. Stressed business owners and employees make easy prey and HMRC warns that fraudsters are already looking to capitalise on the situation.

Tactics can be very sophisticated. Be alert to genuine-looking but bogus websites, plausible-sounding phone calls, and SMS text scams – as well as phishing emails. With the government's recent use of text messaging to convey genuine information during the coronavirus emergency, and increased HMRC online activity, it's even more important to be able to sift the wheat from the chaff. HMRC regularly updates its information on current scams: you can find this here bit.ly/3e6Fr0f. Recent examples include SMS scams purporting to offer 'goodwill payments' because of the coronavirus. Always think twice before accepting a source as genuine, always check before clicking on a link, and take care before inputting personal details on websites.

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