Coronavirus: Scam sites selling masks and fake cures taken down

  • Published
Scam websitesImage source, NCSC
Image caption,
160,000 suspicious emails have been sent in

People have forwarded more than 160,000 suspicious emails to a scam-busting service, leading to 300 websites being shut down.

The Suspicious Email Reporting Service was set up two weeks ago by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

It received 10,000 reports in just one day, after being promoted on ITV's Martin Lewis Money Show,

Many of the scam websites claimed to sell coronavirus tests, face masks and even vaccines.

Image source, Ncsc
Image caption,
One scam website mimicked the TV Licensing website

Others were mock-ups of official government websites that tried to trick visitors into giving their payment information to scammers.

NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin praised the "phenomenal response" from the British public.

"While cyber-criminals continue to prey on people's fears, the number of scams we have removed in such a short timeframe shows what a vital role the public can play in fighting back," he said.

TV presenter Martin Lewis said scam emails remained the "toughest nut to crack".

"We need what I call 'social policing'," he said.

"Everyone that can spot a scam must take up arms and report it, to protect those who can't."

Image source, Ncsc
Image caption,
Another scam website mimicked the government website

Those wishing to report suspect emails can forward them to

If they are found to link to malicious content, the websites will be taken down