There are quite a few scammers trying to monopolise on the current crisis so please be vigilant of who you deal with.
These current scams are circulating here and abroad:
- Emails pretending to be from the World Health Organisation (WHO) with attachments on how to stay safe – the attachments contain malware which will infect your computer, steal your information and request a ransom.
- Scammers have circulated fake maps via email which claim to show how the virus outbreaks, but, again, they are malware.
- Fake charities asking for donations to help with the coronavirus.
- Fake emails pretending to be from a government department.
- Scammers pretending to be from the UK government, advising that a new tax refund programme has been introduced to deal with the coronavirus outbreak and that you are due a refund.
- Companies phoning to offer to clean and sanitise homes, pre-payment is required over the phone or with gift cards.
- Companies claiming to have or to be on the verge of producing a vaccine and requiring payment to reserve a batch.
- Scammers offering fake investment opportunities in companies working to produce a vaccine.
- Doorstep callers ‘checking for coronavirus’.
- Companies selling ‘fast COVID-19 tests’.
- Companies selling products that they claim can treat, cure or prevent the virus including face masks.
- Companies selling fake cleaning products and hand sanitisers.
Don’t get caught out
- Scammers want to steal your money or your personal information. They do this by calling unannounced at your door, phoning, texting or emailing. They will also advertise on social media.
- The only test available is through the NHS – you cannot buy a test kit or pay for a test from anybody else.
- There is no vaccine or cure.
- Only buy from companies that you have dealt with before and type in their online address if you want to order – don’t respond to a link in an email or find them by an internet search because scam sites may be imitating as a genuine company.
- Charities must be registered with the Charity Commission – check they are legitimate before you donate.