A guide to staying safe against cyber scams

Following the publicity surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, there has been a reported increase in the volume of cyber scams circulating. It is more important than ever to keep yourself safe against cyber scammers. Unfortunately, in times like these, there are people out there who will take advantage of vulnerable people or businesses who are looking for financial help and support.
 

We don’t want you to fall victim to one of these scams, so we have put together a quick guide on how to stay protected:

 

Be aware

It is important to stay vigilant during these times and to ensure that you are aware of the current scams that are circulating. This can help to prevent you falling into any traps when it comes to giving out personal and confidential information.

 

Some of the current scams circulating:

Text messages from ‘GOV.UK’
You may receive a text message or email claiming to come from the government and suggesting ways in which you can gain access to financial support. These messages may also suggest that you need to pay a fine for flouting social distancing rules. Please be vigilant and make sure you are certain that the source is trustworthy before opening any links.
 

Emails claiming you are eligible for a tax refund

These emails will suggest that you are eligible for a refund and to follow the link to claim it. They will include a link in the hope that you will open it, allowing them to attempt a fraud.
 

Communications about funding available

With the introduction of the government-backed schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), there may be organisations attempting to impersonate lenders of these schemes. Please ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate representative of that lender before supplying any information. Skipton Business Finance will never ask you for any personal information about you or your business over email.

 

Staying vigilant

  • Look out for spelling mistakes, lack on punctuation and misuse of capital letters on organisation names.
  • Take a look at the email address – does it look legitimate?
  • If the communication includes a link that seems untrustworthy, do not open it. If you do open a link and it directs you to a page which asks you to fill in personal details, please do not do this – a legitimate organisation will not ask for your confidential details online.
  • If you receive a message that appears to be from your bank or lender but you are unsure on the legitimacy, please contact them first to ensure that you are dealing with the right person.
  • Remember that your bank or lender will never ask you to disclose any confidential information online or via email.
  • Please be careful with the information that you share online. If you are in any doubt that the source of the communication is untrustworthy, do not disclose any private or confidential information regarding both yourself and your business.

 

If you feel that you may have fallen victim to one of these scams, it is important that you report this to Action Fraud immediately.
 


You can find out more information regarding support during the current pandemic on our Coronavirus Business Support Hub.