January Update: Latest Fraud Trends and Covid-19 Scam Update

Action Fraud has called for caution as online criminals are trying to con the public with scams about the Covid-19 vaccine, online shopping and computer software service fraud.


Online Shopping and Auction fraud

43% higher than pre-lockdown reporting trends (2019 average), and increased reports compared to November. This is likely to be due to as a seasonal rise in the lead up to Christmas.


Vaccine Scam Calls and Communications

Action Fraud is now receiving a high volume of reports of vaccine-related smishing and phishing scam calls and communications. These have both involved criminals asking their victims to fill in personal information and also in a small number of cases a request for money.


There have been 1,360 reports in December 2020 (just under 44 reports per day). This was a 40% decrease against the average daily reports of 73 per day in November.


In December, 18% of reports were regarded as malicious and 7% of these were marked as suspicious reports. A marked decrease in comparison to the November figures of reports regarded as malicious/suspicious.


More often than not (179) these reports mentioned ‘vaccine’ in the header of the email/text.

Computer Software Service Fraud

This has decreased by 27% when compared to the same period in 2019 and is significantly lower in November.


If you believe you have received a scam email regarding the vaccine, then you can report it directly to the NCSC using the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) by forwarding the email to report@phishing.gov.uk.


We've launched a dedicated area of Covid-19 Guidance to help you faces challenges as lockdown 3.0 comes into force. We're on hand to support you, following our guidance (and guidance from the NCSC) will significantly increase your protection from the most common types of cybercrime.

The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester (CRCGM) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others.  Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. CRCGM provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.

CRCGM does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this website. CRCGM is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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