COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS FAKE AWARE!
• Fake Products/Websites.
A man has already appeared in court for making fake coronavirus testing/treatment kits and selling them worldwide. These kits contain harmful chemicals, and police are warning anyone who had bought one of these kits not to use it. Report to Action Fraud, quoting “Trinity CV19 treatment kits”. During this time, be aware of fake websites and suspicious links. Criminals will advertise products they know to be in short supply, such as hand sanitiser, face masks and ‘treatments’. Claims like ‘100% safe’, ‘No side effects’ and ‘Quick results’ should be warning signs.
• Fake Emails.
There are a number of fake emails also circulating claiming to be from health organisations (such as the World Health Organisation or US Centre for Disease Control), with attached ‘safety advice’ which when clicked downloads malware to infect the device. Ensure you check where an email has come from – is the email address suspicious? Never click on any suspicious links or open any documents on emails that you were not expecting – do not let your curiosity get the better of you!
• Elderly individuals targeted by doorstep scammers.
The elderly are being increasingly targeted by doorstep scammers due to their increased isolation from family and friends. Criminals are posing as police and health officials, sometimes offering to vary out a coronavirus test on their doorstep in exchange for cash. Be vigilant. As always, do not accept offers on the doorstep. Always confirm who the person is using a trusted number – genuine officials will always wait.
• Thieves offering to shop for the elderly and then keeping their money.
Thieves posing as good Samaritans are offering to complete shopping trips on behalf of the elderly, before keeping the money or bank cards that are handed over. Treat such invitations with caution. Never hand over your bank card or details. If vulnerable people are using others to do their shopping, ensure it is someone they know or from a trusted source.
• Pension Exploitation Pension savers have been warned to be extra vigilant of criminals seeking to prey on people anxieties amid the pandemic. As markets are affected and people seek to increase their savings, it may make people look to make snap decisions that could have serious consequences.
As always, the advice remains – do not respond to cold callers.
Take your time to think things through carefully and do your own research (even if you are being offered a ‘limited time deal’). If something is too good to be true – it usually is!!