Sunday 29th March 2020
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Beware of coronavirus scams

Sub heading

​The coronavirus situation is unfortunately an opportunity for criminals to expoit those with fears about COVID-19 and prey on those who are:
  • older
  • vulnerable
  • isolated from family and friends
We're asking you to remain vigilant and take extra care during these difficult times by reading and following the advice given on this page.

Huge rise in scams

There's been a huge rise in coronavirus related scamsthat seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19. that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.

These include scam products that falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19 such as supplements and anti-virus kits.
 
Please be aware of scammers both online and on your doorstep, including some call centres who may seek to pressure them to buy anti-virus kits or products.
 
You're also urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals who may claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money.
There are genuine charities providing support, so always ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.
 
Be aware of people offering or selling:
  • items to test for/cure coronavirus - these are not currently available to purchase
  • vaccines or miracle cures – there is currently no vaccine or cure
  • overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus such as anti-bacterial products
  • shopping or medication collection services
  • home cleaning services

Protect yourself and others

  • Don’t be rushed into making a decision. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.
  • Don’t assume everyone is genuine. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Be aware of people offering shopping or medication collection services. Don’t assume everyone is genuine. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts to pressurise you into accepting a service, they are unlikely to be genuine.

Support and advice

If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action Fraud onn 0300 123 2040 and contact your bank.
 
If you need advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133. on 0808 223 1133.
 
If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999.
 
To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit Friends Against Scams.

 

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