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Wash your hands of coronavirus scams

With the current constantly evolving Covid-19 situation, we’re aware that you want information as fast and efficiently as possible.  But it’s important to ensure you only get your information from a reliable source so that you’re assured that the what you’re seeing is trustworthy.  The following are the most reliable sources to consult when seeking advice, precautions and updates:

  1. World Health Organisation (WHO)
  2. National Health Service (NHS)
  3. Gov.UK
  4. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)

There is currently an increased rise of ‘phishing’ and false or scam communications circulating, so we advise you exercise the following precautions:

  • Know your sources:  Use well known sites with good reputations for sharing accurate news and verifiable facts
  • Emails (particularly free email accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc ) should not be considered a secure form of communication:  We encourage you not to make payments to any bank accounts you receive via email, unless you have verified the details of the bank account by another method previously.   Presently, many providers are not processing cheques and are asking clients to make electronic payments.  SGWM suggest you phone us or any other third parties to confirm the bank details to use before making any electronic payments. We will not ask you to send us bank details via email and will not accept instructions via email to make a withdrawal to an account we have not verified with our clients either in person or over the phone. Our ‘Personal Finance Portal’ (PFP) enables confidential information and documents to be shared between ourselves and our clients securely.
  • Don’t click on links in unknown emails: Even if an email seems legitimate, check and check again. Does the email address match the sender’s name? Are there any typos in the address, no matter how small?  Is the layout slightly odd? Are sentences structured strangely? 
  • Attachments:  Ensure that you check the email is definitely from someone you know before downloading any attachments. Double check if unsure.
  • Check websites links:  Watch out for strange typos, added numbers, or anything that doesn’t seem right.  It may be different to the website you meant to visit – indicating it’s fraudulent
  • Consider how it’s been shared:  Facebook posts can be written, amended and distributed by anyone.  Multiple ‘likes and shares’ do not mean the information is factual – and the same goes for texts, tweets and WhatsApp chains.

Be careful and stay safe.

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