Scammers will find any opportunity to try and con people and sadly there are a number of scams associated with the coronavirus pandemic circulating.
These criminals can contact you by phone, email, text, on social media, or in person. They will try to trick you into parting with your money, personal information, or buying goods or services that don’t exist.
Law enforcement, government and industry are working together to protect people, raise awareness, take down fraudulent websites and email addresses, and ultimately bring those responsible to justice.
However, it’s vital that we all do as much as we can to protect ourselves from those who are trying their best to steal from us.
Known Covid-19 related scams include emails claiming to be from the HMRC encouraging people to click on a link to claim a Government grant as well as tax reduction and a job retention scheme emails which ask you to provide personal information.
Chief Inspector Pete Basham from Northamptonshire Police, said: “Scammers will try and exploit any opportunity they can find to steal from people and that is certainly the case with coronavirus.
“As well as a number of HMRC related scams we’re also aware of incidents where people have received emails claiming to be from the police, stating they have breached Covid-19 legislation and have been issued with a fine.
“I want to take the opportunity to explain that Fixed Penalty Notices are handed out in person, by a police officer or Police Community Support Officer who will happily show you their ID if asked. You may receive paperwork after being issued with an FPN, but the initial notice will be issued in person.”
The police or bank will never:
Contact you out of the blue and ask for your personal details, including your PIN number, password or account details
Ask you to withdraw cash and give to someone for safekeeping
Send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers
If you think you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.
You can report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad. You can report suspicious emails by forwarding the original message to [email protected]. An automated system will scan the email and if malicious links are found, the associated website will be taken down.