Internet Security Fraud warning – please be aware of COVID-19 scams

Fraud warning – please be aware of COVID-19 scams

Due to the general uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increase of criminals looking to take advantage of the situation. As a result, you may receive phishing emails, unsolicited calls, text messages or messages on social media regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 updates or notices purporting to originate from Credit Suisse or governmental agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO). These criminals will often use emotional pleas, threats or urgency to pressure you to take an action.

Reported fraud scams to look out for:

Government impersonation scams such as fraudulent messages via text, email or social media, claiming to be from the government, HMRC, tax authorities and regulatory bodies, formal press releases on Coronavirus/COVID-19 or notices coming from the World Health Organization (WHO) with misleading information on school closures, lockdowns, stimulus packages (government backed loans) or travel notices.

Potential investment offerings that guarantee unrealistic returns in the current market or investment opportunities on facemasks, test kits, hand-sanitizers or products that falsely claim to prevent, detect or cure Coronavirus/COVID-19.

False donations being solicited to fund efforts to address the pandemic by impersonating charitable or government organizations i.e., NHS, GoFundMe, etc.

Various fraud scams may result in an Authorized Push Payment (APP) fraud where criminals may try to deceive you to send payment to an account controlled by the fraudster. APP is more attractive to fraudsters as it is real time and quick, making it almost irrecoverable.

Fraudsters claiming to be from a legitimate firm authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Victims receive cold calls from fraudsters who promote shares, property or investment opportunities via phone, email or social media and later send a follow up email with a document attached or a DocuSign link.

Fraudsters create a "clone firm," a firm registration number (FRN), address of firms and individuals authorized by FCA, a fake firm website and/or a combination of the above to offer legitimacy. Please access additional information provided by the FCA here.

Investment scams offering bogus fixed corporate bonds purporting to originate from Credit Suisse. Such scams are sent via email or directly via social media, misusing Credit Suisse branding such as employee impersonation or fake websites.

Be aware that while you may receive business-related calls from Credit Suisse, please remain extra vigilant. Please hang up immediately and verify the caller's name and details if you believe the call is suspicious. Credit Suisse will not request your personal information, account details, security information, or payments in exchange for investment and/or financing opportunities. The bank will not contact you from a non-Credit Suisse email address and will not solicit business through social media. 

Within the pressure and challenges of this environment the safety of our employees, clients and communities remains our highest priority.

Please do not open any files related to this scam and report immediately to Credit Suisse at security@credit-suisse.com and the Financial Conduct Authority. Please provide all relevant correspondence, email header information, and supporting documentation.

If you believe that you have been defrauded, please report to your local law enforcement. You may also report to Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040  from within the UK or through their online reporting tool.