(with apologies to Gabriel García Márquez)
As expected, scammers are trying to take advantage of fears over Covid-19 (the Coronavirus) to push their victims into unwise actions – often for profit. I have already seen two scams announcing UK government universal income payments that you have to visit a web site to claim.
We can expect :-
- Similar offers to claim your government universal income payment.
- ‘Magical’ vaccines, cures, or treatments at specially discounted rates.
- Offers to sell goods in short supply – toilet paper, hand sanitiser, medical masks, etc.
And probably a whole lot more attempts to defraud you. Or the university.
Be wary of emails, phone calls, or any other form of communication that :-
- Tries to induce a sense of urgency. By rushing you, the scammer hopes to bypass your “wait! is this sensible” thought.
- Tries to get you to bypass normal procedures – those procedures are in place for a reason, and whilst we need to be flexible in these times, procedures shouldn’t be completely bypassed.
- Tries to claim authority (governmental, official organisation, or senior management) to get you to take urgent action.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Which is pretty much the advice in ordinary times.