Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud people.
Below are some of the most common scams to be aware of:
EMAIL, TEXT AND PHONE CALL SCAMS:
- An unexpected email from the government offering you money.
- The ‘infection list’ scam mimicking the World Health Organisation (WHO) claiming to provide a list or map of local infections.
- An email from HM Government asking for donations for the NHS.
- An HMRC email stating you are ‘eligible to receive a tax refund’.
- Sale of fake COVID-19 swabbing tests, supplements, and anti-virus kits.
- A text message asking you to pay a fine as it says you have been ‘recorded as leaving your home on three occasions’ during the lockdown.
- A phone call stating ‘government guidelines now require everyone to wear a mask outside the house, press 1 to purchase your mask’.
- Cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria or offering to ‘decontaminate’ the inside of your home.
- Bogus healthcare workers offering to take your temperature or provide ‘home-testing’ for the virus.
- Criminals offering to do your shopping. They take the money and do not return.
ADVICE AND SUPPORT:
Always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting your personal or financial information (name, address, bank details). To verify the company contact them directly using a known email or phone number. For advice on cybercrime, or to report suspicious emails, visit www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware Anyone who has been a victim of fraud or cybercrime can report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040