Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has welcomed the Government's recently announced action to combat COVID-19 related scams and frauds. Sadly, criminals are trying to take advantage of these challenging times to target people with online scams, in particular the most vulnerable members of society.
Multiple incidents have been identified by The National Crime Agency (NCA) of fraudsters selling fake and dangerous personal protective equipment and coronavirus testing kits, as well as impersonating government departments and using social media to trick people into applying for phony support. Criminals have also been found to access people's devices and home networks, and it is believed that over £2.6 million has already been lost to coronavirus specific frauds.
Government and law enforcement are working hard to identify and prevent criminals from exploiting the current situation, whilst trying to raise public awareness of the risks they may face from both online and offline fraud. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have worked with the Home Office to relaunch their Cyber Aware campaign which will highlight how people can protect themselves from cyber crime, as well as their new Suspicious Email Reporting system.
Nusrat Ghani said "I am pleased that the Government has recognised the increased threat of cyber crime during the coronavirus pandemic, in particular with regards to the most vulnerable in society.
"Across Wealden, online scams and exploitation have been crimes of concern for me and I have worked with Wealden police over the last five years to raise awareness and change law to capture and prosecute criminals targeting vulnerable people.
"This period of lockdown has seen new form of scams and high levels of criminal activity which can be hard to detect in the first instance. I would urge constituents who are concerned to visit the government website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fraud-and-cyber-crime which is dedicated to coronavirus related fraud and cyber crime advice and support."