Be extra vigilant about scammers
Scammers taking advantage of the current public health emergence has prompted Surrey Trading Standards to issue a call for extra vigilance.
When to be suspicious
These are some of the specific Corona Crisis scams Trading Standards are warning about:
- People offering miracle cures for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19).
- People claiming to be council representatives insisting on cleaning houses - your council does not need to enter your house to do a deep clean.
- Bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for coronavirus – this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy.
- Emails claiming that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and are a scam to obtain your personal and bank details.
- Fake products that say they can protect you or cure coronavirus. These will not help and are designed to just take your money.
- New mobile phone apps that claim to give you updates on the virus, instead they lock your phone and demand a ransom
- People claiming to be from your bank or the police asking for your bank details over the phone.
- People offering to do your shopping and asking for money upfront before disappearing.
Who to contact
If you think you have been scammed then call the police on 101 (999 only in an emergency) and call 01296 388788 to report it to Trading Standards. If you witness scammers calling door to door, also call 01296 388788 immediately.
If you have heard reports about scammers operating in your neighbourhood, please report this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need to ASK FOR HELP with shopping or collecting prescriptions, or know someone who does, please call an established volunteering organisation - Chobham Care on 01276 856857 or Surrey Heath Prepared on 01276 66798 or email email@example.com
Trading Standards say...
- Do not place items on your doorstep to say you need help - this is an indication that you are in a vulnerable situation.
- Be sceptical, don't be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
- Take your time, don't be rushed.
- If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as GOV.uk or NHS.uk.
- Know who you're dealing with, if you need help, call someone you know or get in touch with Surrey Heath Borough Council on 01276 707100 and tell them why you are worried.
- Protect your financial information, especially from people you don't know. Do not give your bank card or PIN number to a stranger.