Identity fraud scammers capitalising on Covid-19
Posted on: 13 November 2020
Identity fraud protection as important as ever with scammers capitalising on Covid-19
Evidence from Home & Legacy partner TransUnion, one of the UK’s leading credit reference agencies, shows that over a quarter of UK adults (26%) have been targetedi in a digital fraud attempt during the coronavirus pandemic so far, with almost a third of those falling victim to the fraud.
In a separate studyii, TransUnion looked at the most common Covid-19 scams which included victims donating money for personal protective equipment (PPE), or to companies claiming to offer a cure for the virus, as well as ordering goods in short supply at the time, which never turned up – such as toilet roll or hand sanitiser.
When focusing on digital fraud, TransUnion found phishing was by far the most common methodiii, with the continued increase in digital engagements creating even more opportunities for fraudsters, as more people stay home. In the meantime, identity fraud remains one of the most common types of crimes – with 61% of frauds committed involving identity theft, according to Cifas Fraudscape.
As England is in its second lockdown period, we are using this timely information to remind brokers that Home & Legacy customers have ID fraud detection and assistance service ‘CreditView’ as a standard part of their household insurance. Policyholders should be reminded to sign up in order to receive the greatest level of protection available as part of this service. Once registered Home & Legacy customers will benefit from:
- 24 hour personal data monitoring and alerts
- Confidential fraud helpline
- Victim of fraud case worker should they ever need it
- As well as, unlimited access to their credit report information
i TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Study, commencing 23 March and incorporating a weekly survey of 1000 UK consumers: based on average taken from 23 March to 5 October 2020
ii Research carried out in May 2020 on behalf of TransUnion, among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults
iii TransUnion’s Financial Hardship Study, as above
John Cannon, managing director of fraud and ID at TransUnion in the UK, explains more about why times of crisis are a key time for criminal opportunists: “Unfortunately, it’s common for scammers to exploit our fears during times of turmoil, such as a global pandemic. People can find it particularly difficult to spot fraud in a changing environment where we’re facing new and different situations. It’s essential that people take extra care at this time and remain vigilant to fraudsters and some of their common tactics, such as phishing emails, fake websites and bogus texts.”
Adrian Ewington, Home & Legacy underwriting & markets director adds: “Cyber cover has been talked about a lot in our industry in recent years, but at Home & Legacy, we have provided our proactive, protective ID fraud detection and assistance cover since 2013, as a standard part of our wording. This service on your Home & Legacy customers’ policy is as relevant now as ever and we urge you to remind customers they have this benefit when they take out or renew their policy and encourage them to register to receive the full protection.”
Our proactive, protective ID fraud detection and assistance service ‘CreditView’ is included as part of our household insurance and as the figures above show, this type of cover is as beneficial to customers in the present climate as ever.
The cover is personal to the policyholder and their family – protecting their personal data, so by its very nature the customer needs to register them self.
When registering for the service, customers will need to answer a number of authentication questions about their financial data. The checks are in place to prevent fraudulent attempts in accessing an individual’s credit file.
If the customer can’t successfully register and/ or they would like to speak to someone to support on any ID protection concerns they may have, they can contact the Victim of Fraud helpline on 0333 014 2977 – 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank or public holidays) or email VictimsofFraud@transunion.co.uk