Restrictions are starting to be lifted in phases and we have finally been given a plan of action allowing us to set expectations on slowly moving towards normality. However, as we integrate into normal working and social life, testing and contact tracing becomes ever more important. Paul Moynagh, Professor of Immunology and Director of the Human Health Research Institute at Maynooth University advises that testing should be completed within 24 hours in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and social distancing is still vital in these early stages. While he expected that isolation would have had a larger effect on the COVID19 numbers, the majority of it’s benefits were due to social distancing and continuing social distancing would continue to drive numbers down.
After getting a bit more freedom for movement, people are starting to resume house and apartment hunting - another opportunity for scammers as social distancing measures are still in place, making viewing arrangement difficult. Fraudsters are using the details of legitimate property listings and copy them onto craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. The “property owner” will then advise that due to pandemic restrictions, they will have to view the property from the outside and pay a deposit if they wish to rent the listing. After which, the scammers disappear and delete the listing. Whilst legitimate property listing sites will warn users of such scams, many of these warnings are only posted once the scam has claimed a couple of victims. The Better Business Bureau advises the following:
KrebsOnSecurity reported on a scam that a cybersecurity professional fell victim to - so sophisticated, he didn't suspect a thing until it was too late. These scammers are using the bank’s caller ID and real number, convincing victims to reveal banking details and personal information whilst pretending to be the victim on a separate phone call to the actual bank. A similar scam involved the fraudsters calling the woman, and had already collected information about a number of her recent financial transactions, which they got from the bank’s own automated phone system just by spoofing her phone number.Upon calling the victim, spoofing the banks caller ID and identifying her last three transactions. After coming to the conclusion she had been scammed, she discovered how the criminals had received her last three transactions by calling the phone number on the back of the credit card from the phone number linked (which was spoofed as her own number) with the card provided the most recent transactions without providing any form of authentication.”
Deloitte Digital Forensic team is focusing on conducting investigations remotely during times of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first in a Deloitte Forensic series around COVID-19 business impacts and steps you can proactively take to help respond to and recover from the outbreak and mitigate potential fraud and financial crime risks.
Download Deloitte's remote investigation guide here
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