The UK National Crime Agency (NCA), together with other law enforcement agencies, issued detailed guidance giving advice to individuals and businesses on the ways criminals are taking advantage of COVID-19 to increase fraudulent activity. 

Criminals are particularly using government branding to trick people into providing information, or offering hard-to-find goods and services such as facemasks - which never turn up. With more people working at home, criminals may also pretend to provide IT services in order to get access to sensitive data.

According to the guidance, broad categories of fraudulent activity include:

- online shopping fraud

- computer software service fraud

- investment and loan fraud

- for businesses, requests for payment to new suppliers or new supplier details (mandate fraud)

It's important to be fraud aware and think carefully before sharing any details or making payments to unknown companies.