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UK banks scramble to protect customers from wave of coronavirus scams

March 24, 2020 / Lawrence White, Sinead Cruise

UK banks are stepping up fraud prevention measures to protect customers from scammers eager to exploit the coronavirus pandemic with a whole range of new tricks, including fake sales of medical supplies and bogus government relief schemes. With British households effectively on lockdown, some banks said customers had already been caught out by fraudsters posing as banks, government and even health service providers to persuade victims to hand over passwords or other sensitive data. Barclays (BARC.L), HSBC (HSBA.L), Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) have launched social media campaigns to flag ploys. Metro Bank (MTRO.L) said its fraud team was still operating a 24-hour, seven-day service to help affected customers. The banks said scammers were using a range of methods to prey on people, with common “phishing” emails, authorized push payments (APP) and Buyer Seller scams on the rise, alongside more sophisticated “payment diversion” f...