Alerts and Reports

26th June 2020

COVID-19 Fraud Watch Group (FWG)

Fraud Advisory Panel: COVID-19 Fraud Watch Group member update

16th June 2020

Theft – Fraud and Dishonest Employees

David Kearns, Manager of Expert Investigations has kindly made available a webinar he has put together on the subject of theft, fraud and dishonest employees. In this he examines why and how employees are dishonest and an approach to PREVENT and DISRUPT their opportunities.

The following link will give you access to the webinar however you will have to input an email address to be able to view it

Watch now

If you have any questions or need advice on these issues David can be contacted on :

Tel: 02476 630498 , Mobile: 07879 482902 ,  


12th June 2020

COVID-19 Fraud Watch Group (FWG)

The COVID-19 fraud watch group is a cross-sector and cross-industry coalition of trusted partners (including the Cabinet Office and City of London Police)who meet weekly to share information on emerging fraud threats and trends affecting business. Minutes from their meeting on the11th June are here 

4th June 2020

COVID-19 Fraud Watch Group (FWG)

The COVID-19 fraud watch group is a cross-sector and cross-industry coalition of trusted partners (including the Cabinet Office and City of London Police)who meet weekly to share information on emerging fraud threats and trends affecting business. Minutes from their meeting on the 4th June are here 

4th April 2020

EUROPOL have issued an overview of the increased cybercrime activity since COVID-19 – Download a copy of their report here

3rd April 2020

TUFF is a founder member of the Fraud Watch Group (FWG), which will publish cross-sector information on a weekly basis. The group, which convenes every Thursday morning, is a direct conduit to government, via the Cabinet Office, and reaches across some industries that would not normally be in TUFF’s orbit (and who are struggling with what they see as an entirely new threat).  It is focussed on COVID 19 related fraud and scams as they affect businesses (not the public) to identify trends and mitigate against new and existing fraudulent activity. In order to maintain our privileged position TUFF needs to be a contributor rather than a listener.  I ask that you let me have any information relating to COVID 19 fraud and scams as they affect your business (particularly any new or novel methodology) and associated trends (including reduction in fraud attempts/traffic, which some are seeing), by close of business every Wednesday. FWG meetings are always held under the Chatham House Rule.  TUFF is currently the sole telecommunications fraud representative. With my thanks in advance. Tony Maher Director of Operations and Membership Services (DOMS)TUFF

26th March 2020

Online Fraud COVID 19 PROTECT messaging Protect Alert: The following trusted official guidance has reached me from Action Fraud so please feel free to share amongst your networks, as you see fit.
The majority of current reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived.
Other frauds being reported include ticket fraudromance fraudcharity fraud and lender loan fraud. Phishing emails
Action Fraud have also received over 1,000 reports of coronavirus-themed phishing attempts – the majority of which are emails. These communications try to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details. Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:• Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area but to access this information the victim needs to either: click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page; or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account.• Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates.• Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn.• Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing. We have also had reports of people receiving similar text messages. What are we expecting to see going forward? Any number of frauds could increase as more people work from home and vulnerable, elderly people self-isolate. Action Fraud have suggested, based on the MO of fraudsters, that the following fraud types could increase during the COVID-19 outbreak:·         Online Shopping and Auction Fraud – more people at home socially distancing increases the number of people online shopping through necessity but also the fact they have more time on their hands to browse the internet.·         Computer Software Service Fraud – more people working from home will increase demand on IT systems causing slower responses and making some scripts seem more believable.·         Lender Loan Fraud – there are already media reports circulating about parents concerned that they may not be able to feed their children if they are not at school and those who will be made redundant or self-employed receiving a much reduced income with potentially the same or increased living costs. This may mean people look to quick loans to see them through.·         Mandate Fraud – with more people working at home, it may be easier for fraudsters to impersonate senior decision makers, with seemingly valid reasons why they cannot be contacted, and request a change in direct debit or standing order payments. Investment Fraud including Pension Liberation Fraud – fraudsters could take the opportunity to create bogus investments in commodities in high demand, for example oxygen, and if people are worried that they might not have enough money to see them through this financially uncertain time, they may be more prepared to invest. Protection advice
Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from NEBRCScamsmartActionFraudCIFASTakeFiveCitizens AdviceTrading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.
Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at or by calling  0300 123 2040.
To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact
The information above is originally from NEFF (North East Fraud Forum)Any queries please email the first instance.