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Quilter urges customers and advisers to be vigilant of financial scams during coronavirus crisis

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Quilter is urging customers and advisers to be extra cautious about the risk of financial scams amid the coronavirus crisis.A combination of factors means that customers are increasingly likely to be targeted by scammers during this pandemic.

Quilter has today launched a new ‘Stay safe’ webpage for customers and advisers concerned about the risk of fraud.

It encourages everyone to follow the Take Five campaign’s Stop; Challenge; and Protect to help tackle financial scams and offers practical advice for spotting and avoiding fraud.

More information can be found on the Quilter website, which contains advice on how to spot a potential scam and precautions to take to avoid them.

The FCA’s business plan, released today, commits to helping consumers avoid the scams that spring up as the pandemic develops. The regulator warns that consumers who are scammed lose an average of 22 years’ pensions savings, almost three times their annual earnings.

Matt Burton, Chief Risk Officer at Quilter, says: “This is a difficult time for all of us and of course everyone’s number one focus is on the imminent threat to public health, and the need to stay safe and protect themselves and others.

“But we also need to be cautious about the need to stay safe financially. Regrettably a small number of unscrupulous individuals are seeking to exploit the current situation for financial fraud. Currently COVID-19 themed phishing domains are being registered at a rate of 1,500 per day with around 250,000 spam emails being sent from them.

“Financial services companies are being more flexible to keep the economy going and allow customers to continue to complete transactions despite the current restrictions.

“This includes carrying out more transactions online, sending documentation by email rather than post, and accepting digital authorisations rather than a wet signature. These steps are needed where social distancing measures mean people cannot meet with their adviser face to face, for example. Whist such measures are necessary, they can increase the risk of fraud so it is crucial to be vigilant and know how to spot the signs of a scam.”

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