For the March to May period, mentions of people falling victim to scams were up by 23% in 2020, compared to the average for the same period 2017-19. This suggests criminals could be specifically using the pandemic to prey on more people.
We found the top-mentioned scams in March, April, and May were:
- Bank – 211k
- Tax – 184k
- Credit card – 153k
- Insurance – 109k
- Stimulus check – 68k
Opportunistic thieves are targeting people at financial pressure points, when they’re stressed and likely to bow under pressure. Worryingly, the huge amount of mentions of stimulus check scams show fraudsters are creating ploys specifically around the pandemic too.
Ultimately, it’s a confusing and stressful time for victims, especially if they’re unsure of what to do, or if they’ve already made a payment or given out their details. There were 446k mentions from people seeking help from companies, organizations, and professionals about scams and fraud in the last three months, indicating that there’s a gap in information at the moment when people need it most.
Now is a good time for financial services brands to remind consumers of how they will and won’t approach them for details or payment, to help keep fraud at bay.
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Brandwatch Response Team