The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said it took down more than 2,000 online coronavirus scams last month.

NCSC said this included 471 fake online shops that were selling fraudulent virus-related items.

It coincides with new online safety advice from the agency as part of a national awareness campaign.

NCSC also launched an email reporting service, which the public can use to flag any suspicious activity.

Numerous other malware and phishing sites have been removed, as well as almost 900 advance-fee fraud schemes, where a large sum of money is promised in return for a one-off payment.

There is growing concern that criminals are hoping to capitalise on the increased usage of the internet during the pandemic.

“Criminals are seeking to exploit our greater use of emails, video conferencing and other technologies for their advantage,” said Minister for Security James Brokenshire.

“It’s despicable that they are using the coronavirus outbreak as cover to try to scam and steal.”

The public is being advised to forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. An automated program will test websites flagged as a result, and block those determined to be suspicious.

 

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