Coronavirus scams

Sadly, criminals are still operating full-time while the rest of the country is in lockdown because of coronavirus.

Police Scotland has produced guidance about some common scams to be on the lookout for:

Government / Local Authority Scams:
Emails saying: ‘As schools are closed if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported’.
“Government” emails offering everyone a basic wage and that you should send your bank details to receive it.
Texts saying that the Government has issued a payment to all UK residents. The Government has so far sent only 1 text about COVID-19, on 24 March. Email, text or call supposedly from the NHS or charities asking for donations for COVID-19.

Bank Fraud:
Calls pretending to be from your bank – bank closed due to COVID-19 asking for verification of account details to pay outstanding bills.

Fake Products Online:
Products claiming to cure or prevent Coronavirus. Fake “treatment kits” , medicines and unsuitable thermometer guns.

Doorstep Scams:
Companies offering to ‘cleanse’ properties of COVID-19 bacteria
Adverts offering an ‘antibacterial and cleansing wash spray system’
Callers posing as NHS or Red Cross staff offering to help with shopping, selling home testing kits or seeking donations.

What to Do:

  • Do not click on any links in emails or texts  or open any attachments. If you do, your details could be harvested by scammers.
  • Never give bank or personal details to a cold caller – if in doubt, hang up and phone your bank using the number on a recent statement.
  • Doorstep cold-callers should not be operating under the current restrictions – call police if you have cold callers at your door.
  • Ignore all online adverts offering testing kits or products which can prevent or cure Coronavirus. They are fake and potentially dangerous.

Up to date advice is available from Trading Standards Scotland https://www.tsscot.co.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-scams/ (external link will open in a new browser window)