Coronavirus scam warning: Martin Lewis and the FCA issue guidance – be prepared

Martin Lewis, 47, has made a career out of providing advice for savers across the UK and as he detailed yesterday, those savers are now experiencing an unprecedented time in history. In this special, Martin highlighted that scammers will not hesitate to take advantage of coronavirus.


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It was possible to feel both Martin’s passion and frustration when he turned his attention to scams.

As he detailed: “The scammers, the type of people I have been fighting for a long time.

“And yes they’re on adverts on social media, and yes they’re emailing and they’re calling people up.

“They’re saying things to vulnerable people with phone calls like: ‘Your bank is in trouble due to coronavirus, you need to transfer money to a new bank right now, do it right now.’

“They’re using coronavirus to scam vulnerable people, the regulator is campaigning against it, we have to get the word out on this.”

This will be worrying for a number of people as they go online to check on the latest news concerning coronavirus.

The elderly, in particular, will likely be most at risk. It is believed that coronavirus is particularly dangerous for older people and as such, individuals within that age group may be checking for information more than most.

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As a result of this, they may be specifically targeted by scammers and fraudsters.

Thankfully, it is relatively easy to guard against them as Martin pleads: “Don’t trust them, check original sources, don’t trust online advertising even if it’s got my face on it”.

The aforementioned regulator is also aware of the issues and they have provided several tips on how people can protect themselves.

As the Financial Conduct Authority explains: “Watch out for scams related to coronavirus (Covid-19).


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“These scams take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pensions transfers, or high-return investment opportunities, including investments in cryptoassets.

“Scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and will try many things. They are also very likely to target the vulnerable. Beware of investments that appear to be too good be true.”

The FCA has provided specific tips that people should follow:

  • Reject offers that come out of the blue.

  • Beware of adverts on social media channels and paid for/sponsored adverts online.

  • Use the FCA Register and Warning List to check who you are dealing with.

  • Do not click links or open emails from senders you don’t already know.

  • Avoid being rushed or pressured into making a decision.

  • If a firm calls you unexpectedly, use the contact details on the Register to check that you’re dealing with the genuine firm

  • Not give out personal details (bank details, address, existing insurance/pensions/investment details).




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