Wash your hands of coronavirus scams!

Whilst many communities are pulling together to help the most vulnerable, please be aware that not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will take advantage of this unusual situation our society is facing. 

We’re hearing about increasing amounts of fraudsters targeting the public and organisations with emails, texts, phone calls and WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for coronavirus. Scammers have also been setting up websites asking for donations for victims or promoting awareness and prevention tips. 

To help protect yourself, you should:

  • Be sceptical if you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message about coronavirus, and never click on any attachments or links
  • Get the company’s name and establish their credentials using the FCA’s Financial Services Register
  • Never provide personal data such as your full name, address and date of birth – scammers can use this information to steal your identity 
  • Do not give out personal details (bank details, address, existing insurance/pensions/investment details)
  • Seek financial guidance or advice before changing your pension arrangements or making investments
  • Reject offers that come out of the blue – it’s ok to take your time to make all the checks you need, even if this means turning down an ‘amazing deal’

Remember, it's ok to be wary or question any letters or calls you receive claiming to be from the council - especially where you are being asked for bank details or personal data.

Further advice on how to protect yourself can be found on the FCA’s ScamSmart website. If you think you may have been contacted in what could be a scam, you can make a complaint to the Insolvency Service or call Action Fraud straight away on 0300 123 2040.

There are also lots of ways you can help to protect others from falling victim to scammers – take a look at Friends Against Scams for more information.

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