Covid cyber crime warning amid 15 fold surge in scam sites

10 May 2021, 08:42

Scammers are using fake celebrity endorsements and fake NHS sites

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The UK's cyber security agency says it's taken down more scams in the last year than in the previous three years combined.

The CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre has told LBC a number of fraudsters are trying to get people's details by pretending to be from the NHS' vaccination programme.

The cyber security chief told Nick Ferrari that digital scammers were even using fake newspaper branding and celebrity endorsements, which falsely claim to be supported by celebrities such as Sir Richard Branson and Martin Lewis.

Lindy Cameron who works for the agency of GCHQ told LBC her organisation was trying to make it as difficult as possible for the scammers.

Overall more than 700,500 campaigns were taken down, accounting for 1,448,214 URLs, the NCSC's fourth Active Cyber Defence report revealed.

The conversation comes after news emerged there has been a 15-fold increase from 2019 in the number of scams being removed online.

Among them were around 43 fake NHS Covid-19 apps - as well as emails and texts related to the vaccine.

Experts oversaw a 15-fold rise in the removal of online campaigns compared to 2019, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

There was a jump in the number of phishing attacks using NHS branding to dupe victims, with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout used as a lure via email and text message to harvest people's personal information for fraud.

Some 43 fake NHS Covid-19 apps hosted outside of official app stores were also pulled.

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