Luton BID is happy to provide advice and guidance for individuals and their businesses on how to deal with COVID-19 related malicious cyber activity. Unfortunately, criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam innocent people and their businesses.
The Government have released a document with contains very helpful advice and guidance on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber-crime has been updated. This guidance explains simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your business against fraud and cyber crime and where to get help. To view click here.
Scam emails are currently one of the most common threats in cyber security. Malicious email attachments, false government grant phone calls and CEO impersonation scams are among a raft of scams undermining businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What should you do if you have received a scam email? People receiving scam emails are urged to visit the Action Fraud website where there is information on where to forward their scam mail. Action Fraud has set up a dedicated email address where you can forward any scam emails that you receive.
COVID-19 Government Business Grant – Latest Scam
Businesses are being warned of a new emerging scam that targets them applying for the Government’s Small Business Grants programme. The latest SCAM, purporting to be from your local authority or Gov.UK, asks for bank details in order to claim the business support grant. DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS or give away any information.
The scam starts with businesses receiving fake emails stating that it is from the local authority. The email says that a cash grant application has been processed and asks that businesses clicks on the requested link. Once the link is opened, it leads to a request for an advance fee or tries to capture bank and card details to receive a payment.
It should be noted that no fee is payable to receive these grants. If you receive such a call, our advice is to hang up, and make contact with your local council to find out if you are eligible.
Home working: preparing your business and staff
As part of managing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, many organisations will be encouraging more of their staff to work from home. This presents new cyber security challenges that must be managed. This guidance recommends steps to take if your organisation is introducing (or scaling up the amount of) home working. How to make sure your organisation is prepared for an increase in home working please click here.
To view an infographic for organisations looking to support their staff click here.
Video conferencing services: security guidance for organisations
The COVID-19 lockdown means many organisations are using home working on a greater scale. With more staff now working remotely, video conferencing has an obvious role to play. This guidance helps organisations to select, configure and securely implement video conferencing services. Please click here for further information.
Be vigilant in avoiding these scams.
Remember the following quick tips to keep yourself and your business safe:
• Reject unsolicited offers, particularly ones that offer quick fixes
• Beware of social media ads or sponsored ads online
• Don’t click on links from senders that you don’t know
• Don’t give out personal details
• Research companies that you’re looking to buy from to make sure that they’re legitimate
• Have the latest software and app updates
• Monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.