Coronavirus: Scammers targeting Warwickshire residents warning - The Leamington Observer

Coronavirus: Scammers targeting Warwickshire residents warning

Leamington Editorial 20th Mar, 2020   0

FRAUDSTERS are taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to prey on the vulnerable and elderly.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is warning residents to be wary of scammers sending coronavirus-themed phishing emails, selling falsely branded products and offering to do shopping to trick people into revealing personal and financial details.

Reports have revealed scammers impersonating the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation are offering up a list of coronavirus infected people in the recipient’s area.

Other scams include the sale of unapproved products such as teas and essential oils claimed to treat or prevent the coronavirus. There are currently no approved vaccines or drugs available to prevent or treat the disease.

Residents should also look out for cold-callers offering ‘safe’ investments following falling share prices, and strangers turning up on doorsteps to ask if they need shopping or chores doing in return for cash or bank details.

Since February the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified more than reports of coronavirus-related fraud with victim losses totalling over £800,000. Ten of these reports were made by victims attempting to purchase face masks.

WCC community safety spokesman Andy Crump said: “At this difficult time, look out for your vulnerable friends and family members. Keep in contact with them and abreast of all the latest information and advice about scams and health issues generally and most importantly help ensure they are safe and comfortable.”

Signs of scams include links or attachments in suspicious emails, and unsolicited messages and calls asking for personal or financial details.

Officers advise carrying out research before making a purchase from an unfamiliar company or person and those deciding to go ahead should use a credit card, as most providers insure online purchases.

Visit for more safety advice.

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