As the rest of the world feels like it’s at a standstill dealing with COVID-19, fraudsters are revelling in this opportunity. But rest assured, we’re doing everything we can to protect your money, as you protect yourself.
Tell us about it
One of the most important things we’re doing is asking you – customer or not – to report any suspicious contact you receive which appears to be from us, whether it be in person, or by post, email, call or text.
Use our dedicated form to report the incident.
“We’ll let you know when we receive your report and we’ll be back in touch if we need any more information or to let you know the outcome of our investigations.” says Peter Hazelwood, Group Financial Crime Risk Director at Aviva.
“The completed form is sent securely to the Financial Crime Intelligence Unit. They work closely alongside other teams, and with law enforcement where necessary, to investigate every incident reported. This allows us to take all the necessary steps to better protect you – and others,” explains Peter, “So if you receive something you’re not quite sure about, tell us.”
Helping you to protect yourself
“We’re upping our game” says Peter, “By offering important and up-to-date training and advice to our customers, we’re helping you to recognise and protect yourself against the different types of fraud out there. The fraud we’re seeing a lot of at the moment is being perpetrated to customers.”
Although phishing emails have been around a long time, they’re still an extremely successful way for fraudsters to trick people into handing over their money or personal data. Now, fraudsters are adapting phishing emails to the current climate, making them more convincing and more difficult to spot.
A phishing email will usually ask you to open a link or click on an attachment in the email. It’ll have come from an unknown or spoofed (fake) source and you won’t have been expecting to receive it. It’s also likely to cause panic or excitement by offering a reward or threatening you with a penalty.
“People are more likely to click COVID-19-related phishing messages, given the emotional connection and relevance to it. But doing so could give fraudsters access to your computer, or take you to a dangerous website where you’re asked to enter your personal data” explains Peter.
Although we may not be able to stop every fraudster right away, we can raise awareness of the most common tactics they use.
Working closely with key agencies
“We’re actively involved in a number of outreach activities with important external agencies” explains Peter. “We’re part of an intelligence-sharing group made up of major banks and insurers, and government agencies.
“We work together to share information and identify the types of fraud being used to target our customers ” Peter reports. “We do this so we can share the most important and up-to-date information with you, our customers.”
What’s to come on the fraud front?
Although a lot is uncertain at the moment, one thing’s for sure – phishing isn’t going anywhere.
“Depending on the economic impact of COVID-19, in the months to come governments around the world will be reacting to the crisis by introducing new financial schemes to support people. And fraudsters are likely to jump on these initiatives,” warns Peter.
Protect yourself and others
We’re committed to protecting your money, but there are things you can do to protect yourself too. By helping you to spot fraud and providing guidance on how to avoid being scammed, we can tackle this threat together.
Remember, if you see anything from us which doesn’t look quite right, report it right away. It’s one of the most important ways we can work together to stop fraudsters in their tracks.