BANKS have issued a warning over coronavirus "smishing" scams targeting the vulnerable.
The pandemic has sparked a rise in messages where the tricksters pretend to be well-known organisations to get personal information.
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UK Finance warned customers of the need to be careful while using phones, the internet and even of being targeted on your front doors.
It added "spoofing" – which makes a message appear genuine as it comes up with previous real messages – is a growing concern.
Often the messages will include a link to a fake website that is designed to trick people into giving away their financial and personal information such as bank details, passwords and credit card numbers.
Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime, UK Finance, said: “Criminals are callously exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to commit fraud, including using scam text messages imitating government departments, banks and other trusted organisations.
“We are urging consumers to remain vigilant and avoid clicking on links in any unsolicited text messages in case it’s a scam.
“It’s always safer to log into your bank account directly or contact the organisation on a trusted number or email such as the one on their official website.
“Always follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information. If you receive a suspicious text message, report it to your network provider by forwarding it to 7726.”
It comes as the number of people who have died from coronavirus in England is now 1,284 after 159 more deaths were announced.
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The Department of Health has so far recorded 22,141 positive Covid-19 cases in Britain.
Today's figure marks the first time the daily increase in deaths has fallen for two consecutive days and has dropped from 260 on Saturday, the worst day in the crisis so far.
According to one of the government's chief health advisers the outbreak is now "starting to slow" – but deaths will keep rising.
A Sun Online investigation revealed sick fraudsters are creating thousands of new scams every day to try and cash in on the Covid-19 pandemic.
We discovered how more than 16,000 internet-domain names related to coronavirus have been set up with the intention of conning unsuspecting members of the public.
Internet-security expert Neil Doyle warned: “It’s like the wild-west out there and it only shows signs of getting worse and worse. People need to be on their guard.”
One phishing scam saw crooks send e-mails claiming to be from the Government offering recipients tax refunds to cope with the coronavirus crisis.
Several fake "diagnosis" scams and hoaxes are doing the rounds online. Instagram has already banned rogue coronavirus filters that claim to "diagnose" your condition.
Fraudsters have also impersonated the World Health Organisation and urges victims to open a document that supposedly contains information about how to stay safe.
There have also been reports of NHS workers being targeted for their ID-badges by muggers. They then use them to jump the queues at supermarkets.
It has prompted many hospitals to issue new guidance to their staff warning them to be careful – especially when leaving at night.
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