COVID-19 & Other Scams to be aware of:

Please scroll down the page for information on a “Phone Scam regarding Amazon Prime” from Sussex Police…..

Horsham District Council have highlighted various Covid-19 related scams to be aware of:

On-the-spot fines

  • Police are warning against fraudsters claiming to be collecting on-the-spot fines for breaches of the government’s coronavirus guidelines. Officers were made aware of a teenage man being approached by three men in Brighton who claimed to be undercover police officers and issuing him with an on-the-spot fine for being out during the coronavirus lockdown. The men also had a device which took the payment on-the-spot. Sussex Police will not ask you to hand over money or make a card payment when they issue an on-the-spot fine, and officers will always be able to provide ID.

Doorstep crime

  • Criminals are targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return. None of the community hub volunteers in the district will knock on your door unless you have asked for help and they will have ID.
  • Doorstep cleansing services are offering to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Online scams

  • Email scams try to trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
  • Fake online resources, such as false Coronavirus maps, in fact deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map.com’.

Refund scams

  • People seeking holiday refunds should be wary of fake websites set up to falsely offer holiday refunds. Instead they collect your personal data.

Counterfeit goods

  • Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid-19 swabbing kits are being sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014. Please note that sanitisers bought from a reputable source are safe to use.

Telephone scams

  • As people continue to self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company. If in doubt, end the call and call them back on a number from a recent bill.

Donation scams

  • There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.

Sussex Police have highlighted an Amazon Prime related scam to be aware of:

Sussex Police is issuing a warning about scam callers purporting to be from Amazon Prime, after a recent, sudden spike in reports. Since 1 July, the force has received 68 reports of this type of fraud resulting in losses of over £64,000.

This crime typically involves a phone call from someone claiming to be from Amazon and stating that an amount will be taken from their account to renew an Amazon Prime subscription or that the account has been compromised.

Many victims are advised to press a number on their phone as an option to not pay for the subscription. The scammer will then talk them through installing an app on their phone or tablet, and confirming their personal and banking details in order to stop the payment. Of course this is all an attempt to get the victim to transfer money to the caller’s bank account.

PC Bernadette Lawrie BEM, the Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Surrey Police said:

  • “The evil perpetrators of this time of crime prey on the most vulnerable in our communities and often target a generation who aren’t as familiar with technology.
  • “People have lost devastating sums of money to calls like these so urge residents to be wary of any calls about subscription payments.
  • “Remember – don’t give or confirm your personal or banking details with an unexpected caller. If you’re unsure if the call is legitimate, hang up and verify the number with a trusted source, such as the company’s official website, or call a good friend or family member for advice.”

Sussex Police’s top tips to help stop this type of fraud are:

  • Act with care if you get an unsolicited phone call
  • Never transfer funds into another account on the instruction of an unexpected caller – even if they tell you the account is in your name
  • Always check your phone line has properly disconnected before making another call – try calling a good friend first, wait five minutes or use a different landline or mobile
  • Never share your PIN number or enter your PIN into a telephone

For further advice and information on preventing this type of fraud, see Sussex Police website here. https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/sussex/news/news/police-warn-of-amazon-scam-in-sussex/

To report fraud online, visit the Action Fraud website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or call 0300 123 2040.
More information about scams can be found here:  https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/article/505/beware_of_covid_19_scams
You can check if something is a scam here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/
Regular scam updates can be found here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/sign-up-for-action-fraud-alert.

Please be careful.

© Coldwaltham Parish Council 2018. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Access To Information
Website Design by Louise Hughes
Website Development by Ice Media