Help customers steer clear of COVID-19 scams

As the rest of the world might feel at a standstill dealing with COVID-19, fraudsters are revelling in this opportunity and scams are on the rise. But just as the scammers never stop – neither do we. We remain as vigilant as ever, constantly monitoring the latest tricks fraudsters use and sharing what we know to help protect you and your clients. 

What are we doing? 

We continue to identify and tackle any fraudulent activity head-on, but in addition we’re developing resources to help keep you and your clients more informed and less likely to be caught out. You may have attended our Cyber Security webinar that highlighted useful steps that can be taken to secure our lives and businesses – this week a new Aviva Fraud Hub has been launched to make this advice as accessible as possible to all Aviva customers. 

What is the Fraud Hub?

The hub is an area of that contains practical tips around avoiding scammers and how to spot something that’s not quite right before it’s too late. These resources will be regularly updated as fraudsters tactics evolve. Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime reported a 400% increase in coronavirus-related fraud reports from February to March* which signalled the need for this swift development. Despite the large rise, it’s the very smallest changes that can actually make the difference – the hub articles such as spot fraud to stop fraud outline what these could be and highlight potential threats in simple terms – from Phishing emails, to cold calling and texts.     

“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.” Peter Hazelwood, our Group Financial Crime Risk Director

The hub also introduces a scam reporting service. This allows Aviva customers to report any suspicious contact which appears to be from Aviva, whether that be in person, by post, email, call or text and offers a clear route to reporting suspicious fraudulent activity. Aviva’s Financial crime Intelligence unit will investigate every incident reported, respond and give guidance on what action to take. 

“The launch of our scam reporting service is an important step forward in helping to protect our customers and the public from fraud. We believe we have a responsibility to work in partnership with the industry to protect people from financial crime – particularly where the Aviva brand name is being used without our consent. We’re adapting and utilising our existing operations, experience and skills to protect people, and their money, at a time when they are arguably more vulnerable than ever.” Matt Chapman, Aviva Group Fraud Risk Director. 

Who can use the Fraud Hub? 

The Hub and its content is designed to be shared with all Aviva customers, so feel free to make your clients aware or pass on any guidance you feel is valuable – it may help reduce further threats to their lives and businesses at a time when safety is paramount and every penny counts. 

Find out more by taking a look at the Aviva Fraud Hub

* Action Fraud received its first coronavirus-related fraud report on 9 February: