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One of the latest data scams to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic are fake coronavirus vaccine texts circulating with the goal of tricking people into making a payment for a jab.
Claiming to be from the NHS, senders have been using a tried-and-tested scam method as they ask for the input of bank account details. Fraud through text or email scams is still all too common, even though the method is relatively easy for scammers. It shows just how much damage can be done with access to an email address or phone number, which are exactly the kinds of details which are often exposed in data breaches.
At Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – we are a leading firm that represent many clients who have fallen victim to fraud as a result of having their data exposed by a third-party business or organisation.
In text scams such as this, all a fraudster requires is your phone number, which can be acquired with worrying ease. On the dark web, there are sites that publish or sell personal details for the purposes of fraud, or a fraudster may be even access this information themselves if they have taken advantage of an organisation’s data leak.
For example, in the Virgin Media data breach, for which we represent many claimants, customer details such as email addresses were left unsecured for 10 months, leaving victims vulnerable to fraud in spite of the fact no bank account details were exposed. This shows how just one small snippet of data can lead to serious harm for the victims.
With phone numbers or email addresses, fraudsters can carry out a type of scam known as phishing, whereby they can send messages claiming to be a reputable organisation to convince the recipient to hand over details to them. In the case of the fake coronavirus vaccine texts, scammers have been posing as the NHS. They have played on the global crisis of Covid-19 and people’s desperation for the vaccine, and these texts could be convincing for those who are not aware that the jab is free.
In response to the fake coronavirus vaccine texts, the NHS has issued warnings reminding people that they will never ask for bank account details, credit card numbers, or PIN numbers.
In fact, this is a reminder that can be applied to all phishing scams, as credible organisations will never usually require you to hand over or confirm details in this way. It is always worth contacting the organisation directly in order to ascertain whether the message is valid. It is also important to never click on the links in suspicious emails, as these may contain malicious viruses.
However many precautions we take, unfortunately, we cannot always protect ourselves against the data exposure that can allow scams like the fake coronavirus vaccine texts to occur. Sometimes, businesses and organisations are careless with our personal data, and if they are found to have broken data protection regulations, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
If you believe you are at an increased risk of scams and fraud due to a data breach, contact The Data Leak Lawyers for free, no-obligation advice on your right to claim. Data breach claims are vital in bringing about justice for those who have been victims of fraud, ensuring organisations suffer the repercussions of failing to protect private data.
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