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Coronavirus and Fraud

By sophiebk 23 Mar 2020

Please see below a message from Merseyside Police.

We are currently experiencing an unprecedented Global event. The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is now officially a pandemic, has caused apprehension globally and not just in the UK. This has ultimately resulted in Lockdowns, travel bans, panic buying, school closures, and general turmoil amongst the population. 

Global emergencies such as this offer golden opportunities for scammers to launch fraudulent  campaigns that feed off people’s fears and ultimately cash in on this. 

This letter is not intended to increase your concerns but to highlight the fact that you really need to stay vigilant over the coming months.

What are Fraudsters Doing?

Fraudsters will try to tug on your heartstrings, asking for donations to fund a vaccine for children in China and so on. There is no such vaccine at the moment. Advertising that they have a face-mask that can keep you safe from the virus. There is no such mask. Fraudsters are also emailing victims claiming to be able to provide a list of coronavirus infected people in their area and in order to access this information you are asked to click on a link, this will lead to a malicious website or to make a payment using Bitcoin. There is no such list.

Advice

Times like these can bring out the very best and the very worst in people. While some will be looking out for vulnerable friends and relatives, others will be looking to profit from the worry and insecurities caused by the Coronavirus. Our advice is to be mindful “TAKE 5 TO THINK”. 

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not give out your personal details or banking information to anyone you do not know or trust.
  • Avoid clicking on any links or downloading any attachments in unsolicited emails or texts from unknown sources, or even trusted ones unless you are absolutely sure that it is authentic.
  • Ignore communications that ask for your personal details and banking information. Try to verify using another method.
  • Be especially wary of emails that add to the sense of alarm or panic and urge you to take immediate action or offer COVID-19 vaccines or cures.
  • Look out for fraudulent charities or crowd-funding campaigns. 

You can contact Action Fraud at: 
Telephone - 0300 123 2040
Website - www.actionfraud.police.uk/

You can contact Merseyside Police for non-emergencies by dialling 101

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