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3 scams to watch out for this summer

author: Helen Fox

By Helen Fox

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Cybercrime, and the scams that enable it, are on the rise. In fact, cybercrime cost the UK £12.5 million in 2021, and is expected to cost £8 trillion globally by 2025.

Fraudsters are constantly finding new opportunities to catch your attention and take advantage. So, it’s as important as ever to stay on your guard, up to date, and able to spot a scam when you see one.

Here are three scams we’ve seen doing the rounds that it’s important you know about this summer.

GHIC scams

If you’re planning to head abroad on holiday this summer, then making sure you have a valid GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) is a must. These cards, which replace the old EHICs (European Health Insurance Cards) allow you to access emergency healthcare at the same price a local would pay for it. So, if they’d get it for free, you will too. Handy, right?

However, with so many people applying for GHICs as their EHICs expire, there are scams around. GHICs are free when you apply through the official website, but scammers will try to charge you for them, often claiming to be able to fast-track your application in exchange for the fee (spoiler alert: they can’t!).

If you see adverts for GHIC scam websites online or elsewhere, you can report them to the Advertising Standards Agency using their online form. Of course, you should also report any scams you come across to Action Fraud, too.

Marketplace scams

With the cost of living front and centre in our minds at the moment, many of us will be thinking about using marketplace apps like Vinted or Depop to sell our preloved things, or to pick up a few new bits and pieces for less than they’d cost in the shops.

But, scammers lurk on these apps, ready to take advantage. Common signs of a marketplace scam include:

  • the seller’s profile being created recently and containing very little information about them or their previous listings
  • creating listings using photos that have been used before on other people’s listings
  • requesting payment outside of the app’s official, supported system

If you fall for a marketplace scam or even if you see a listing that you suspect may not be genuine, it’s important that you report it to the marketplace app straight away. They can take action to block the seller, and help to recover any money you’ve lost.

Antivirus scams

If you’ve had an email falsely claiming that your McAfee antivirus subscription is running out soon, then you’re not alone. According to Action Fraud, nearly 3,000 people reported these emails to them in one week recently.

The emails encourage people to renew their subscription immediately, as suspicious activity has been detected on their device. This is a classic phishing scam tactic, where fraudsters make the situation seem urgent so that you’ll act quickly. The links within the emails then send people to convincing-looking but fake websites designed to collect people’s personal and financial information.

If you receive one of these emails, follow these tips:

  • check whether you even have a McAfee subscription! Quite often, scammers will email everyone they have details for, and hope they get lucky by reaching some genuine customers of the brand they’re posing as
  • if you are a McAfee customer, go directly to your account settings with them to check your subscription details and update it if you need to – don’t click on any links in emails
  • report the scam email to McAfee, and to Action Fraud, too

Fallen for a scam? You’re not alone! Read on to find out how to get your money back after being scammed online.  

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Helen Fox

By Helen Fox

lady dressed for summer using phone in a train station lady dressed for summer using phone in a train station