MORE than £373 million was lost by repeat victims of fraud in the financial year 2019/20, police figures show. Here is a list of five of the latest scams to look out for.

Gift Card scam

Fake gift cards and certificates for high street stores are rampantly circulating across the country, ahead of non essential retail reopening.

Police are urging the public to only buy gift cards directly from the retailer or a reputable third-party supplier.

Business owners should also ensure staff know which gift cards are valid.

Shoppers should be wary of cards or certificates that look poorly made, are without visible security features, such as a hologram sticker, or are offered at a lower price than the value they can be used for in store.

Royal Mail scam

Royal Mail is warning the public of an alarming parcel scam doing the rounds.

The scam comes in the form of text messages and emails asking customers to make extra payments to ensure their package is delivered.

The message reads: “Your package has a £2.99 shipping fee, to pay this now visit…Actions will be taken if you do not pay this fee.”

The link will then take you to a replica of the Royal Mail website where scammers try to convince customers to hand over their details.

HMRC scam

People across the UK have been targeted by fraudsters claiming to be HM Revenue and Customs.

The scam comes in the form of a text message, asking for personal details claiming that the recipient can claim money from a fictional government grant.

The text message reportedly reads: “From HMRC: The third lockdown has been announced, we have been issued a grant off £240 to help during this period, visit to claim.”

The message is followed by a link.

The website that the text links to has been created to look similar to the government website, with the same branding, layout and font choices. However, it is not hosted on the official domain, which should be another red flag for those targeted by the scam, as it indicates that the website is fake.

The fake website also informs users that they will need to provide their card details in order to claim the grant.

National insurance scam

National insurance number scams are surging.

Victims have reported receiving an automated telephone call telling them their national insurance number has been compromised.

In order to fix the issue victims are told to press one and be connected to a caller.

Once connected to the caller victims are pressured into giving their personal details in order to receive a new national insurance number but in reality, they have been connected to a criminal who will use their details to commit fraud.

Covid-19 vaccine scam

Scammers are mercilessly targeting elderly and vulnerable people with a Covid-19 vaccine scam.

The public is being reminded that the vaccine is free of charge and that people will not be asked to pay at any point.

The NHS will never ask for bank account or card details, PIN or banking passwords or documentation as proof of identity, such as a passport, driving license, pay slip or utility bill.

NHS staff will also never arrive unannounced at a member of the public’s home to administer the vaccine.

Victims of fraud should report to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting