Any crisis is likely to result in a surge in scams, with opportunistic fraudsters taking advantage of anxiety and uncertainty.
The coronavirus pandemic has already seen an unprecedented increased in scam activity.
Now, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is warning about a new email scam claiming to offer a council tax reduction.
The email scam claims to be signed off by ‘The Government Digital Service Team’ and carries official-looking UK government branding.
Within the email, there’s a link urging victims to ‘claim your council tax reduction now’.
Of course, the link forms part of a phishing scam designed to capture your personal and financial information, including your name, address, and bank account details.
CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, said:
"This is yet another email scam using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to target an increasingly vulnerable public. I am deeply concerned that people may fall prey to this, since many are out of work, or furloughed, and would welcome a council tax refund.
If anyone receives an email like this, do not click the link and report it to Action Fraud. CTSI and our partners in the consumer protection landscape are working hard to inform the public about emerging scam activity, and assist with its prevention."
The amount of scam activity since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis is significant.
As of mid-May, Action Fraud reported more than £3.5 million in theft from members of the public in coronavirus-related scams.
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, or you have received a suspected scam message, visit the Action Fraud website.
National Trading Standards is also encouraging us to become a Friend Against Scams.
This initiative by National Trading Standards aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.