Beware COVID-19 Scams

While most people are pulling together to help one another in this difficult time there are those who try to take advantge of others instead. Thames Valley Police is urging everyone to be vigilant against criminals using the publicity around the coronavirus as a chance to target their victims with fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages or door to door services.

Known scams to look out for include:

Door scams:
People knocking on the doors of elderly and vulnerable people offering to shop or other services for them and then taking money without providing what they have offered.

  • If you can only accept help from people you are familiar with or who can prove who they are.
  • Do not hand over a bank card or large sums of cash to anyone on your doorstep.
  • Please look out for your neighbours and family members who may not have access to social media and therefore will not be receiving this information.

Scam messages:
A number of online scams offering fake services are being reported nationally. Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

Shopping online:
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely

Coronavirus Testing Kits
At this time the public are not being offered COVID-19 tests to purchase and no companies have been deployed to carry out checks in homes or businesses, if you are offered a testing kit this will be a scam.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber-crime, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040