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COVID-19 frauds and scams

COVID-19 frauds and scams

COVID-19 has created previously unthinkable consequences for our society. Organised crime has been quick to respond, mounting large scale orchestrated campaigns to defraud banking customers, preying on fear and anxiety related to COVID-19. In these uncertain and difficult times, fraudsters opportunistically prey on the fear and uncertainty created by a public health emergency, looking to profit from the public’s desire to regain a sense of safety and security.

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The Issue

COVID-19 has created previously  unthinkable consequences for our society.  Organised crime has been quick to  respond, mounting large scale orchestrated  campaigns to defraud banking customers,  preying on fear and anxiety related to  COVID-19. In these uncertain and difficult  times, fraudsters opportunistically prey on  the fear and uncertainty created by a public  health emergency, looking to profit from  the public’s desire to regain a sense of  safety and security.

Across the world, we have seen an  increasing rise in scams associated with  COVID-19. Computer and phone hackers are trying their best to take advantage of  the pandemic to lure potential victims to  download infected files through suspicious  links. Criminals are misusing high-volume  searches and curiosity related to the virus  on the internet. They have made malicious  programmes which are hidden in files  related to coronavirus.

Also, as governments prepare large  stimulus packages in response to the  pandemic and begin providing fiscal support  to their citizens, the risk of being defrauded  by COVID-19 related scams will likely  continue to rise.

For a few sectors such as financial services,  pharmaceuticals and life sciences and  telecom, in particular, there are many  challenges. These sectors have already  begun to provide an unprecedented  response and working through their own  business continuity issues. Demand is far outstripping supply as concerned  customers inundate call centres, as fraud  typologies change on an almost hourly  basis.

© 2020 KPMG, a Ghanaian registered partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.

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