Police issue warning over coronavirus phishing scam

Police have issued a warning after a phishing scam relating to coronavirus emerged. (Picture: Getty)

Police have issued a warning after a phishing scam relating to coronavirus emerged.

North Yorkshire Police posted the warning on its Fraud Awareness Facebook page, along with a screenshot of the scam.

The message comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) also issued its own warning that cyber criminals are using phishing scams to take advantage of fears caused by the virus.

The scam, made to look as if it was sent from the government, claims that a new tax refund programme has been set up in cooperation with National Insurance and National Health Services and the person receiving the email is due a refund.

It also includes a link for the potential victim to click on in order to access their tax refund.

Sharing the scam with the title: “Scam Awareness”, police said: “We knew it would happen soon, here is one of the first phishing emails linked to the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

“If you recieve [sic] anything like this, report it and delete it.”

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It also added the advice: “Do not click any links. There is NO refund. Do not part with any information.”

The force added: The person receiving this email correctly identified it as a scam and posted it for awareness.”

Earlier this week, the WHO said cyber criminals were disguising themselves as health officials to steal money and sensitive information amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The global health agency said it was aware of a number of suspicious email messages “attempting to take advantage” of the coronavirus outbreak and urged anyone contacted by a person or organisation that appears to be from WHO should verify if they are authentic before responding.