Coronavirus: Warning about scams

Coronavirus: Warning about scams

Published by Harry Long at 12:34pm 19th March 2020.

Trading Standards officers in North and West Yorkshire are warning people about potential scams as fraudsters try to take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak. 

  • Trading Standards are warning people about scams as fraudsters take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak. 
  • Fraudsters have posed as HMRC, bank workers, police and health officials.
  • They're also warning about an increase in doorstep callers while people are self-isolating.  

Across the country, there have been reports of frauds relating to the supply of face masks.   Fraudsters have also tried to persuade people to disclose personal information by posing as banks, police or health officials over the phone or through emails.

Others have claimed to provide medical guidance, investment opportunities or a safe place to which to transfer money. Victims then hand over financial details or click links that may contain dangerous malware.

'Despicable' 

Other frauds include emails asking people to visit a fake website bearing an HM Revenue and Customs logo, with the promise of a tax refund. 

North Yorkshire County Councillor Andrew Lee, Executive Member for Trading Standards, said:

“Our officers are also concerned about the potential for increased numbers of doorstep callers, who may try to visit people while they are self-isolating or social distancing and attempt to undertake unnecessary or overpriced property repairs and gardening at their homes.

“It is particularly despicable to target older or disabled people in the current situation. As always, we encourage people to follow Trading Standards’ advice and urge family, friends and neighbours to be alert to the potential for scams and to do their best to protect those who might be at risk.”