• Jo Appleford-Cook

Crime Prevention Bulletin

Common COVID-19 Scams:

• An offer of £258 from the government to help during the coronavirus outbreak just by entering your bank details. Government departments never ask for your bank details in this way. • The 'infection list' scam mimicking the World Health Organisation (WHO) claiming to provide a list of local infections. To access it they need to pay into a bitcoin account or click on a link that delivers malware onto the computer. • A scam email from HM Government asking for donations to the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. The NHS will never ask you to send money directly to a bank account. • A fake government email stating: ‘As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’. • Selling scam products such as supplements and anti-virus kits that falsely claim to cure or prevent COVID-19. • Fake COVID-19 swabbing kits, hand sanitisers, and face masks sold online. These products can be dangerous. • Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus. • Bogus Red Cross or healthcare workers offering to take your temperature or provide 'home-testing' for COVID-19. • Criminals targeting vulnerable people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. They take the money and do not return. • Call Centres offering supplements that supposedly prevent COVID-19. • Criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company. Your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account. • A text asking recipients to pay a £35 fine as it says they have been ‘recorded as leaving their home on three occasions’ during the lockdown.

Anyone who has been a victim of fraud or cybercrime can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. If you’ve been affected by crime you can contact the Victim Support team on 0808 178 1641.

COVID-19 Community Support Helplines: Helplines are now available to provide information and advice, as well as practical support to elderly or vulnerable residents who need assistance with essential food or household supplies, collection of medication, or who are at risk of loneliness: Gov.uk COVID-19 support service for extremely high risk / vulnerable people: 0800 028 8327, Hampshire Helpline 0333 370 4000.

Victoria Snow