On Friday 24 April, The Security Minister wrote for This is Money about the Government’s new web page which offers easy-to-follow tips and a list of places people can get help and advice if they fall victim to cyber crime due to coronavirus.
Criminals will use every opportunity they can to fleece innocent people of their hard-earned cash and sensitive personal information – and the coronavirus emergency is sadly no exception.
It's despicable that anyone would use this national crisis to target people with their scams and tricks.
But although overall reports of frauds have not increased, those behind them are exploiting fears over the pandemic to prey on victims.
There have been reports of online shopping scams where people have paid for protective face masks and hand sanitisers that don't exist.
Criminals are sending messages to trick people into thinking they're getting genuine offers of financial support from the Government.
And as more of us work remotely, hackers have stepped up attempts to access people's networks and steal their login details and passwords.
This risks individuals and businesses not only losing their private information but also their money.
Up to 21 April, Action Fraud had received more than a thousand reports relating to coronavirus with total reported losses topping £2.3million.
And there have been nearly 8,000 phishing emails flagged to the National Cyber Security Centre since they launched a new tool on Tuesday to help people report suspicious emails, including those claiming to offer coronavirus services.
More than 150 websites linked to phishing have been taken down as a result.
The impact of these crimes can be devastating, inflicting misery on victims. Across government and law enforcement we are working to prevent criminals from exploiting this unprecedented situation.
The National Cyber Security Centre has thwarted 2,000 scams relating to the pandemic in the last month alone.
This includes 471 fake online shops and more than 500 malware sites set up to cause damage when people visit websites.
They've also taken down phishing sites looking for personal information such as passwords or credit card details, and thwarted more than 800 advance-fee frauds where a large sum of money is promised in return for setting up payment.
The National Crime Agency's National Economic Crime Centre recently arrested two people on suspicion of illegally selling unregistered coronavirus testing kits and over the past month, the NCA has protected over 61,000 victims from the loss of sensitive information that criminals were trying to use, such as emails, passwords or banking details.
Meanwhile a specialist card and payment crime unit made up of officers and staff from the City of London Police, Metropolitan Police and UK Finance has carried out raids across the country to target criminals sending scam text messages and emails that exploit the coronavirus outbreak.
They've identified several suspects and seized mobile phones.
But these agencies can't do their work properly if we don't help them by taking measures to protect ourselves from crime and report it when it does happen.
To help this effort, the Government has launched a new web page with easy-to-follow tips and a list of places you can get help and advice if you need it.
For example, it's worth stopping and taking a moment to think before parting with your money or information. Just doing this alone could keep you safe.
To keep yourself secure online, ensure you are using the latest software, apps and operating systems on your phones, tablets and laptops and update these regularly.
And if you get an unexpected or suspicious email or text message, don't click on the link or attachment.
Don't be afraid to challenge things like this. It's ok to refuse or ignore requests for your money or details if you are suspicious – only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
And remember – the police and banks will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. Neither will they ask you to reveal your full banking password or Pin.
You can check that requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly. And if you think you've fallen victim to a scam, then contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud.
You can also report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad.
All the information and contact details for sources of further advice, including the new suspicious email reporting service, are on the new web page.
Armed with this information we can make sure we keep ourselves and our businesses safe.