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Corona crime: how do you deal with crisis thieves?

The corona crisis is bringing out good qualities in many people. Fortunately, because in times of crisis we have to be there for each other. Unfortunately, there are also people who abuse our trust in others: they take their chance to deceive people. It can happen to anyone. But by paying close attention, you reduce the chance of it happening to you. Below we discuss a few forms of corona crime.

In doubt? Don't trust it!

Doubt is often a good harbinger. But be alert and never let yourself be tempted into an offer under time pressure or fancy words. Your intuition doesn't have to be correct, but it is often an excellent radar. Criminals know this and that is why they abuse time pressure. The offer must now, after that it is no longer possible. Someone with the best intentions never puts you under time pressure.

Malicious help

Today there are many strangers who are there for you and offer their help. That feels good and if it is done with the right intentions, it can only be appreciated. Should you then be suspicious of an offer of help? No, but don't be naive either. Someone with good intentions is never out on your debit card, paid in advance or directly peek into your house. So does anyone suggest that? Just don't trust it. There are now criminals posing as employees of your bank. They ask by telephone: "Send us your bank card and you will receive a virus-resistant card from us." A bank employee would never ask that.

Collections and surveys

Criminals also come by the door posing as collectors for a 'good corona target'. Or they ring the bell, say they are from a health organization, and tell a story about corona tests or surveys. Whether they can come in for a moment. Our advice: don't do it, don't fall for it. There are no collections and no home investigations. Warn the police and the health organization the scammer claims to represent so he can't rob anyone else.

Digital

We have learned from an early age to be alert in unreliable situations on the street. Crime in online environments is relatively new, so we are often not yet alert enough. While there are many scammers, fraudsters and criminals active there. Therefore, be extra alert. An important rule of thumb:
Are you in doubt? Don't trust it. Rather be too careful than not careful enough.
If you don't trust a situation on the phone or on the street, you can keep asking questions. Who is this person? Is the story correct? And if you cannot resolve it, you can always contact the authorities yourself. Does the official body confirm the story? About the same principle applies to online situations. For example, if you get a message that appears to be coming from your bank, there are a few things you can do to check if it is reliable:

  1. When you receive an email, check not only the sender's name, but also the email address. Including the domain name, the part after the @ sign. Compare it with other emails that you have received from your bank that you are sure were reliable.
  2. Is the email text properly written? Sometimes malicious emails are full of errors. But beware: the lyrics keep getting better. Keep that in mind.
  3. Contact your bank via the website or the official contact details provided on their website and ask them if the email is reliable.
  4. An SMS with the request to click on a link for a new bank card or something similar is always false and dangerous.

Never do

Despite the above checks, you can still have doubts about the reliability of a message on the internet. In that case you can let someone watch, such as your (grand) child, partner, friend or colleague. In addition, always make sure that you never:

  • click on (hyper) links wherever you have doubts. Then go to the website that you are sure is reliable;
  • provides personal and / or valuable information, such as your PIN or passwords (even your bank or the police would never ask for this).

And do you now think: I am quite capable of keeping myself safe (online), even before I read this article? Then share it with people who might benefit from the tips and advice. Every victim of scam and fraud is one too many.

More information

Do you have questions about this article? Please do not hesitate to contact our Service Center. We are available every working day from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m., on 0345 851 963 and sc@unie.nl. Lake information about corona and your work you can find here.