Scammers are continuing to take advantage of topical fears surrounding the pandemic by using the omicron COVID variant as a lure in recent phishing scams, according to reports.
The NHS has warned of a phishing campaign which leads people to fill in bank details for an “Omicron PCR test”, while consumer group Which? has reported rogue sites charging delivery fees for tests that can actually be obtained for free from the NHS.
They also flagged one scam website which asked users to set up a security question. Some scam websites ask for answers to common security questions, (e.g. mother’s maiden name). This isn’t required for a PCR test, but may be abused by scammers to attack other legitimate accounts.
Cyber criminals make use of current events to make their scams seem more convincing and they can be very difficult to spot.
However, it is important to remember the NHS will never ask for bank account or card details and the NCSC has published guidance to help people recognise online scams and report any messages that seem suspicious.
If you receive a suspicious email, you should forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org, while suspect texts should be forwarded to ‘7726’. Scam websites can be reported directly to the NCSC via our online service.