Cifas weekly coronavirus scam update – DVLA phishing, Royal Mail delivery scams and impersonations of Cifas

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, is highlighting the latest coronavirus scams from the past week, and warning the public to stay vigilant of the ever-changing tactics that scammers are using to extract money and information.

This week Cifas has been made aware of the following scams:

Scammers impersonating Cifas

Cifas has received reports of scammers emailing victims pretending to be from a Cifas department. In these scam emails, recipients are asked to provide personal details which could be used to facilitate identity fraud and are signed from ‘CIFAS’.

Cifas will never contact consumers out of the blue to ask for personal or banking details, and any communications will be sent from Cifas email accounts. When receiving communications from Cifas, recipients should carefully check the email address for any spelling mistakes and ensure it has come from an official Cifas email address.

Any recipients who may have provided their details to one of these scam emails should contact us using details on our website and report the case to Action Fraud or Police Scotland. If bank details have also been provided, then victims should alert their bank immediately.

Incomplete Royal Mail delivery scam

With the ongoing restrictions over the Christmas period meaning people couldn’t meet up to exchange gifts, many resorted to sending parcels over the festive period – and criminals took note. There have been a number of reports of scam emails and texts from Royal Mail notifying recipients of parcels which were unable to be delivered over Christmas, often claiming this was due to an ‘incomplete address’.

These fake messages are redirecting recipients to phishing websites which ask them to enter personal and banking details to pay for a rearranged delivery. However details provided on these websites may be used in future fraudulent conduct, such as identity fraud.

Anyone who receives this or a similar email should carefully inspect the sender’s email address as scam emails will often include an extra letter, number or full stop in an attempt to make the fake email address appear genuine. They should also check with the addressee to ensure they received their parcel, and if possible track the delivery using tracking details provided when the parcel was sent.

If personal and banking details have been provided in response to one of these scam emails, victims should report the case to Action Fraud or Police Scotland and contact their bank immediately.

DVLA phishing scam

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has issued a warning of scam messages attempting to fool motorists into handing over personal and banking details. These scam messages will often claim the driver has overpaid their car tax and is due a refund, or that there has been an issue with payment and they must update their information.

Anybody who has provided details to one of these scam messages should report a case to Action Fraud or Police Scotland and contact their bank immediately. Phishing emails can also be forwarded to report@phishing.gov.uk and scam text messages to 7726.

Sally Felton, Director of Intelligence and Member Experience for Cifas, said: ‘Criminals are always on the lookout for the latest vulnerabilities in day-to-day life to take advantage of. With the nation back into lockdown, we can be confident they’ll continue to look for new and innovative ways to attempt to steal our personal and financial information – especially with an increasing number of us shopping and transacting online.

‘People need to remain vigilant against these scams and think carefully when responding to any requests by email, text or phone. Never click on links provided in emails or texts, or give your personal or financial details to anyone over the phone or on your doorstep – no matter how legitimate the caller appears. Remind elderly or vulnerable friends and family about this advice; we have all read stories about people falling victim, so getting these messages out to your loved ones has never been more important than now. If you believe you have become the victim of a scam then inform your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud or Police Scotland.’