Updated figures show there have been 105 reports to Action Fraud since 1 February 2020, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000.
The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud. See more here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports-increase-by-400-in-march
Get Safe Online has issued some tips on how to help avoid being scammed:
- Be wary of approaches from supposed travel agents, tour operators, airlines, cruise companies, insurance companies or compensation ﬁ rms promising to arrange travel, accommodation or event entry refunds: they may well be fraudulent. If in doubt, call the company you have been dealing with, on the phone number you know to be correct. These approaches can take the form of emails, texts, social media posts, direct messages, online advertisements and phone calls.
- Be wary of ads for products such as facemasks, hand sanitiser, vaccines, cures and hard-to-get goods, as they could be for non-existent products. Never pay by bank transfer, and where possible pay by credit card as doing so provides additional protection.
- As always, don’t click on unknown links in emails, texts or posts, or email attachments. They could link to websites that capture your passwords and other conﬁdential details or cause a malware infection, both of which can result in ﬁnancial or identity fraud. They could also link to adult, hate, extremist or other content.
Read Get Safe Online safety advice about avoiding online coronavirus-related scams and working safely from home during the outbreak here: https://www.getsafeonline.org/coronavirus/
To report crimes and scams please follow the following guidance:
- Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report incidents of fraud online and offline at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
- Call 101 to report non-emergency incidents to your local police.
- Call 999 if you’re reporting a crime that’s in progress or someone is in immediate danger.
- Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 to report crime completely anonymously.