Stay alert to Coronavirus scams

17th June 2020

As part of Scam Awareness Fortnight, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, is warning residents to be aware of cyber-scams related to the Coronavirus.

Jeff Cuthbert, said: “Sadly we have seen a rise in fraudsters using the Coronavirus as a way of preying on people’s vulnerabilities and scamming them out of large sums of money.

“You should always be cautious online and follow the latest advice from Gwent Police to avoid becoming a victim of an online scam.”

The Gwent Police Cyber Security Team have highlighted the most common scams which include:

Online shopping: People have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products that have never arrived. Carry out research on websites you don’t know before completing a purchase. If you decide to go ahead, use a credit card as most credit card providers insure online purchases.

Phishing emails and texts: Claiming to be from organisations such as World Health Organisation (WHO), HMRC, Netflix, Amazon, Local Health Boards and local councils. These emails/text messages could contain malicious links and attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details. Don’t click on links and attachments in emails, carry out your own research and never respond with personal or financial details.

Door to door testing kits: Suspicious callers are said to have been knocking on doors of elderly and vulnerable residents saying that they are health officials doing door-to-door testing. Do not answer the door to anyone you don’t know or anyone calling out of the blue. These tests are only available from the NHS.

False school meal messages: Some parents have received text messages and emails offering free meals which request bank details. These are not legitimate and you should not respond with any of your information. 

If you have been the victim of an online scam you can report it via the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. You can also seek support from the Connect Gwent Victims hub, either online at www.umbrellacymru.co.uk/connect-gwent or by calling 0300 123 2133. In an emergency always call 999.

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