This is a summary of a report from National Trading Standards regarding scams they have been informed of during this last week, all relating to the general uncertainty and worry about CORONAVIRUS. Please take care of yourself and keep a watchful eye on vulnerable family and neighbours.
Supplement and anti-virus kits to cure or prevent COVID-19 DO NOT EXIST. Reports of online and door-to-door pressure selling. If you hear of local activity of this nature, please call 101.
Here to help – individuals are calling at people’s houses offering to go shopping on their behalf during self-isolation. Criminals claim to be representing charities providing support. Thieves take the money and do not return. Please be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.
DO NOT LET ANYONE INTO YOUR HOME. If you need help, contact us at Tai Ceredigion, your local County Councillor (who are co-ordinating localised assistance throughout the county) or people you know personally and trust.
Services – Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus – THIS WILL NOT HELP AT ALL.
Email scams – that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details. Some emails ask people to click on attachments, which have information on Coronavirus. SCAM ALERT!
CHECK THE EMAIL ADDRESS. DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT? DON’T CLICK ON IT.
Don’t know who has sent the email? Do not open or click on any attachments!
Fake online resources – such as false Coronavirus Maps – that deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information-stealing program that can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’. DO NOT SHARE ANY CHAIN MESSAGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Refund Scams – Fake companies are offering holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.
Counterfeit goods – Fake sanitizers, facemasks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitizer containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014.
TELEPHONE SCAMS – CALLS AND TEXTS
*Tai Ceredigion have already received a report of this locally *
As more people self-isolate at home, there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or Utility Company. DO NOT GIVE ANY PERSONAL DETAILS OVER THE PHONE.
YOUR BANK WILL NEVER ASK FOR YOUR PASSWORD OR YOUR PIN.
There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.
BE SAFE. DO NOT GIVE DONATIONS TO ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE CHARITIES YOU ALREADY SUPPORT.
Illegal moneylenders are expected to prey on people’s financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and fees through threats and violence.
People are being encouraged to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete the online modules, visit www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk.
National Trading Standards is also issuing urgent advice to help prevent people from falling victim to COVID-19 scams through its Friends Against Scams initiative. Visit: https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/
Keep in contact with family members and friends regularly and remind them to be aware of these scams.
For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam, visit: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/