• COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise and has changed the way we live
  • Many people have lost their jobs and businesses are struggling
  • Unfortunately, in times like this, we see an increase in crime
  • It’s more important than ever to stay safe, be vigilant online and ensure your personal data is protected from criminals when you do leave the house

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COVID 19 crime on the rise

It is not a fun time to be reading mainstream media or listening to the news. The world as we know it has changed dramatically and we are all playing catch up. As our focus is security and helping our customers stay safe we have been playing close attention to the media reports of increased crime.

Cyber-crime is a major area of concern with those self-isolating at home online and vulnerable to scams, particularly the elderly. A further concern is criminals posing as medical practitioners requesting, and gaining, access to personal medical data. The strong message is to stay alert and protect your personal information at all times.

Here we share a few short excerpts from a broad range of media outlets:

”A laid-off worker has incentives to shift the use of time toward illicit earnings opportunities since displacements reduce legal earnings opportunities. At the same time, dismissals lessen the opportunity cost of a worker’s time during the period of unemployment.”
“The old adage that idle hands are the devil’s workshop appears to have some truth to it,” said Votruba. “This unfortunate link (to weekday crimes) highlights the importance of psychological factors–such as mental distress, self-control, financial concerns and frustration–in determining counterproductive behavior.” story coronavirus layoffs crime Dated: 16/03/2020

Hover over image to reveal more

Criminals taking advantage of coronavirus anxiety

COVID-19 fraud schemes*

  • Telephone fraud – criminals call victims pretending to be clinic or hospital officials, who claim that a relative of the victim has fallen sick with the virus and request payments for medical treatment;
  • Card skimming – When you do go out to get supplies ensure your ‘contactless’ credit cards are secure as criminals and opportunistic people are utilising this technology to skim your card details. This crime has become even easier for everyday people to undertake with the emergence of NFC smartphones and a host of free card reading apps found online.
  • Phishing – emails claiming to be from national or global health authorities, with the aim of tricking victims to provide personal credentials or payment details, or to open an attachment containing malware.


^Excerpt marketwatch story

“Everyday life has essentially stopped in many countries in a bid to slow the virus, and some crimes have been declining. But reports of virus-related fraud are on the rise, along with concerns about hate crimes.”

The United Kingdom’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received more than 100 reports of virus-related scams, with losses totalling more than $1.1 million (970,000 pounds).

Meanwhile, marketing schemers have quickly pivoted to offering “senior care packages” that include hand sanitizer or even a purported vaccine, which doesn’t exist. Some falsely claim that Trump has ordered that seniors get tested.

It’s all a trick to get personal information that can be used to bill federal and state health programs, health officials said.

“It’s a straight-up ruse to get your Medicare number or your Social Security number under the guise of having a test kit or a sanitary kit sent to you,” Christian Schrank, assistant inspector general for investigations at Health and Human Services.”

^ story coronavirus related crimes are on the rise dated: 2020-03-25

“According to a new study of 1 million laid-off Norwegians^^ over 15 years, out-of-work people commit 60% more property crimes (such as theft, shoplifting, burglary, and vandalism) in the year after losing work and have 20% more criminal charges than when employed.++”

^^ research article

So consider these questions:

  • When people lose their paychecks, do they turn to crime more often?
  • When people are at home more, does that deter crime?
  • Will crime rates fall when police aren’t charging criminals the same way they used to?

++ article ‘how will corona virus related closures and quarantines affect crime rates’

Armourcard International will continue to keep you updated on the latest security concerns so you are protected throughout this crisis. Don’t forget to keep your wallet protected with an Armourcard when you leave the house.
Stay Safe.