The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating 165 coronavirus-related scams, according to a freedom of information request (FOI) submitted by Parliament Street think tank’s cyber research team.

In one scam, fraudsters pretended to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), targeting company owners seeking Covid-19 relief grants to help manage their finances throughout the pandemic.

Other scams included a targeted effort to steal the log-in credentials of HSBC customers with business accounts, and attempting to obtain the passport details of financial services workers.

The data revealed the scams circulating during the pandemic included contact via emails, phone calls, texts, letters and social media messages.

Max Worrall, who is general sales manager of Encompass Corporation, a financial crime victims support firm, said: “These risks are a reminder of the threats posed to regulated firms seeking to enforce anti-money laundering measures and customer verification checks.

“These processes often involve reviewing personally identifiable information and documentation, something criminals are always seeking to get their hands on by any means necessary. It is therefore vital that companies have in place the necessary anti-financial crime systems, as well as the ability to identify and confirm that the customer is who they say they are.”

This article previously appeared in Professionaladviser.com

Further reading

Lockdown investment scams cost savers £4m – IA