Heartless scammers use coronavirus situation to trick people
Fraudsters praying on people’s fears to con them out of cash
Unscrupulous criminals are using the publicity around coronavirus (COVID-19) as a chance to target people with fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages and door to door services.
Thames Valley Police is urging the public to remain vigilant against these scams and asking them to look out for their friends, family and neighbours.
A number of cases have come to light where criminals are knocking on the doors of elderly and vulnerable people and offering to collect shopping or provide other services for them. Money is taken for this but the scammers never reappear with the items or the results of what they offered.
Thames Valley police recommends anyone requiring help only accepts it from people they are familiar with or who can prove who they are. They also advise against handing over a bank card or large sums of cash to anyone on the doorstep.
There have also been reports of people trying to sell fake coronavirus tests. However, there are not currently any such kits available and no companies have been deployed to carry out checks in homes or businesses.
A number of online scams have been reported nationally offering fake services. The advice is no to click on any links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never to respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
It is also recommended that those shopping online carry out some research into the background of the company before completing a purchase, maybe by asking a friend or family member for advice. It is also worth using a credit card for any online purchase as most major providers insure online purchases.
Emma Tarry from Thames Valley Police said, “Please look out for your neighbours and family members who may not have access to social media and therefore will not be receiving this information.