During these difficult times unscrupulous criminals are exploiting our fears about COVID-19 and preying on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends.
Our Trading Standards officers are supporting National Trading Standards as they warn people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19.
Our Chief Executive, Ian Bancroft and Council Leader, Cllr Mark Pritchard, agreed that we should all be extra cautious of scams: “We have examples locally of just how active scammers are and we thank our Trading Standards officers for their continued vigilance in tracking them down and also to you for alerting friends and relatives of the dangers scammers pose to us all.
“Please continue to take extra care if you receive any unexpected emails, phone calls or even anyone knocking your door with offers of help. Genuine callers will be able to provide identification and if you are in any doubts please take the advice of friends and family before you hand over your bank details, cash or any personal information.”
There’s some excellent advice below that aims to protect and prevent you, your family and friends from becoming victims of scams. Please read it and also share with family and friends.
Be scam aware of people offering or selling:
- Virus testing kits – these are only offered by the NHS
- 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 – only use people you trust
- Home cleaning services
Protect yourself and others from scams:
- 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 such 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’re unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
- Please be a good friend and share this with your family and friends.
For advice on scams call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on:
English: 0808 223 1133.
Welsh: 0808 223 1144
To report a scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.
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