Criminals are continuing their attempts to capitalise on the Covid-19 crisis, whether it’s preying on those waiting to be vaccinated, looking for a job or shopping online.

Everyone needs to be vigilant – and if something sounds too good to be true or raises even a hint of suspicion, that usually means it’s time to step back.

Here’s a round-up of some of the latest pandemic scams you may need to watch out for…

1. Bogus job adverts

With people out of work due to the disruption of Covid-19 and a surge in demand for delivery services, job applicants need to be extra cautious when browsing job ads.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) says investigators have noticed fraudsters exploiting the current jobs market to trick people into handing over their personal information and insurance details.

Notably, bogus delivery driver roles may be advertised on social media and on other websites. Job seekers will be told they’ve been successful and then be asked to hand over their details.

But this enables criminals to steal their identities, and their insurance policy details may be used in ‘crash for cash’ scams – where criminals try to claim insurance money by fabricating road traffic collisions.

2. Covid-19 jab scams

Criminals are also trying to make money from the positive news about vaccinations, with scams around jabs. These may start with a phone call, email or a text. People may be given a link to a fake NHS website with an application form to register for the vaccine. They may also be asked for various personal and bank details, or for money.

Action Fraud, the UK’s reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, is reminding people that the vaccine is free of charge for everyone. The NHS will not ask you for details about your bank account, or to pay for the vaccine.

Suspect emails can be forwarded to [email protected] and texts to 7726.

3. Fake delivery messages

Amid the online shopping boom, scammers have been sending fake messages purporting to be from delivery companies and saying they were unable to leave parcels.

People may be charged a small fee for ‘redelivery’, and then called later by the criminals pretending to be from their bank and saying their account has been compromised. They may then be tricked into transferring larger amounts of cash directly to the fraudster.

4. Pensions and investments scams

Some pension savers may be looking for ways to improve their returns in the tough economic environment. But scammers will take advantage by promising too-good-to-be-true returns.

Pete Glancy, head of policy, pensions and investments at Lloyds Banking Group, says: “Be on the lookout for ‘deals’ that promise high returns. If they’re saying it’s a ‘limited time offer’ or a ‘loophole’, the reality is that these kinds of opportunities are unlikely to be genuine.

“Likewise, if a caller is offering you something out of the ordinary, like the opportunity to access your pension before the age of 55, you should think twice about whether it’s genuine or not,” adds Glancy.