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UK most heavily targeted nation for coronavirus email spam, research claims

The UK ranks worse than the US and France for receiving spam related to Covid-19, a cyber security firm claims.

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A phishing email from someone posing as the head of the World Health Organization (Yui Mok/PA)

A phishing email from someone posing as the head of the World Health Organization (Yui Mok/PA)

A phishing email from someone posing as the head of the World Health Organization (Yui Mok/PA)

The UK is the most heavily targeted nation for email spam relating to coronavirus, according to a cyber security firm.

20.8% of global malicious Covid-19 spam is sent to UK-based email addresses, research by Trend Micro suggests.

That puts the country way ahead of France, which ranks second at 11.5%, and the United States at third with 8.2%.

It comes as an increasing number of pandemic profiteering scams emerge, with cyber criminals looking to exploit fears around the crisis.

“It is no surprise that the UK is the most targeted nation for this kind of scam email,” said Katherine Hart, lead officer at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), which has been warning people about the issue.

“CTSI has received intelligence on many new scams themed around the virus since the pandemic hit the UK.

“It’s reprehensible that unscrupulous people are taking advantage of millions of people during this unparalleled pandemic.

“This research on coronavirus email scams is a sobering confirmation that the UK is the most targeted nation and that UK nationals must be the most vigilant and sceptical when receiving these kinds of messages.”

The public has already been cautioned about a bogus text message, which claims to be issuing fines for going outside or offering payments related to coronavirus.

PA