TRAGEDIES and moments of confusion can bring out some awful people, namely scammers who take full advantage of the public times of weakness.
They have had a field day during the health crisis, and it has shown a massive surge in cases of fraud over the last few months.
The people that commit these kinds of crimes base their scams around other people’s fears.
This past week it has been discovered that many employers have not been following the correct rules with regard to the furlough scheme.
An individual, employed in a factory in Cardiff and was places on furlough in May. As per the rules, the employer paid 80 per cent of the usual salary for the next four months.
However, at the start of August, the employee was made redundant, given one month’s notice and received her final salary at the end of August.
On September 2, the same employee received an email, claiming to be from the HMRC.
The email requested that they should give details of how long they had been under the furlough scheme and include salary information. It also requested a NI number and address details
The employee responded, not realising how much information they were actually giving away.
The next point of contact was a call from somebody claiming to be from the HMRC Fraud team saying that the employee had been overpaid by £835 because of her redundancy.
The caller then advised that both the employee and employer had committed a fraudulent offence and if the money was paid back the problem would be solved.
The payment was made in an immediate bank transfer. Upon telephoning the employer to query this they then discovered the scammers had been able to take full advantage of the situation.
There is hope that through the employee’s bank they may be able to get their money back if the bank is part of the Authorised Push Payment Scam Code.
There is a lot of it about just now, please don’t get caught up in any scams!