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Coronavirus scams

Details of scams around the Covid-19 outbreak. There are number of scams to be aware of. We will keep this page up to date as we are notified of new scams.

Swansea Trading Standards are warning people to be extra vigilant against a number of scams which are circulating and play on people's fears of the Coronavirus. Coronavirus scam

Since last month the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified 21 reports where coronavirus was mentioned with victims losing over £800,000 in total.

A new scam has emerged purporting to come from Swansea Council via a UK Government website, promising a payment if people fill in a range of card details, including their security code number.

It is a scam. It is not a council initiative. Do not respond to it.

 

Update 23 March 2020

Another scam has also be reported in Swansea. Again it is via text message to your phone and asks for payment of a fine. The text message says you have been seen leaving your Coronavirus scam 2house on 3 occasions on one day and have been fined £35.00. There is a link to what they say is a UK Government website for more information. The UK Government is not fining people from leaving their homes in this way.

It is a scam. It is not a UK Government initiative. Do not respond to it.

 

Update 1 May 2020

Here are just some of the scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:

  • Be aware of people offering miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus - there is currently no cure of vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.
  • Home decontamination services.
  • People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering 'home-testing' for coronavirus.
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and they are just after your personal and financial details.
  • There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect you from coronavirus. Follow the government advice on protecting yourself and ensure any protective products (such as hand sanitizer) are purchased from genuine companies.
  • There are new mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus but instead, they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.
  • People offering to do your shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.
  • Impersonation of officials, including HMRC and government agencies.
  • Subscription and streaming service emails prompting account updates or requesting personal details.

Tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Take your time; don't be rushed.
  • If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front.
  • Don't assume everyone is genuine. It's okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
  • If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as www.gov.uk or www.NHS.uk websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don't click on links in emails or messages.
  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.
  • Know who you're dealing with - if you need help, talk to someone you trust.
  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don't know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.
  • Be suspicious of requests for updating your account details. If someone pressures you, they are unlikely to be genuine.

 

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