We are writing to you with regards to how you can access support and safeguard yourself against scams during the coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will try to take advantage of this unusual situation our society is facing and try to exploit people.
Listed below are some of the scams that you could be approached with, but please note that criminals and their scams come in all shapes and sizes, and they may contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:
• Be aware of people offering miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19)
• People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for coronavirus – this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy
• Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar – they are usually bogus and they are just trying to obtain your bank and personal details
• Fake products available to buy online that advise they can protect you or cure coronavirus – these will not help and are just designed to take your money
• Mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus but instead, they lock your phone and demand a ransom
• Calls from people purporting to be from your bank, or from the police, asking for your bank details over the phone
• People offering to do you’re shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing
To avoid becoming a victim of a scam, please follow our tips and advice below:
Be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door
Take your time; don’t be rushed
If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of helps if you are unsure
If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as .gov.uk or NHS.uk websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don’t click on links in emails
Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information
Know who you’re dealing with – if you need help, talk to someone you know or get in touch with your local Council on the numbers below
Protect your financial information, especially from people you do not know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger
We know it can be difficult to know who to trust, and we hope this information helps you to feel more informed and more able to protect yourself against these types of scams.
If you are online or have a mobile phone Facebook Community groups and WhatsApp groups can be great ways of staying in touch with those around you.
You can also sign up to Humberside Police’s My Community Alert at www.mycommuntiyalert.co.uk to receive updates straight to your mobile or email on what is going on in your community.
To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit the National Trading Standards website www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk and complete the free online training.
If you are not online, please see the telephone helpline numbers below if you need any help or advice:
• If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
• If you need advice, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133
• If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999