Warnings of coronavirus scams and suspicious emails

Warnings of offers of fake vaccines and offers of help, scam emails and overpriced products

Warnings of coronavirus scams and suspicious emails

Coronavirus scam – offer to help with shopping

We’ve been made aware that scammers are using coronavirus to target elderly and vulnerable people who are self-isolating.

The scammers are making cold calls to people, offering to do their shopping for them, but only after first visiting their home to collect the money.

We urge people not to give any money to any visitor to your home that you do not know personally. If you receive such an unexpected telephone call from a stranger, hang up immediately and tell us on coronavirus@telford.gov.uk or 01952 381818.

Any unwarranted visits to the home or intimidation should be immediately reported to West Mercia Police.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s Community Support Line is now open to help the over 70s and vulnerable people who need support. The phone line 01952 382030 is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat-Sun 9am-1pm.

Coronavirus scam – doorstep callers offering vaccine

We have seen reports from our colleagues across the country of doorstep callers claiming to be working for the NHS, stating that they are able to provide a Covid-19 vaccine.

Scammers will undoubtedly take advantage of the current situation, whether it is to extort money, or to gain access to your home.

Our advice is:

•Never sign or agree to anything on the spot.

•Check the trader’s identity. Always ask for an identity card and look up the organisation to check the salesperson’s identity is genuine.

•Be wary of special offers or warnings about your home or your health.

•Read the small print. Always read documents carefully before you sign them and make sure you fully understand your rights.

•Double check the facts.

•Talk to someone you trust for a second opinion.

•Trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Please report any cold callers to Trading Standards via 0808 223 1133. If you are intimidated by these unscrupulous individuals, please contact West Mercia Police on 101.

Received a suspicious-looking email?

Follow this guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre (the information assurance arm of GCHQ) …:

If you haven't clicked any links in the email, that's good. Until you're certain that the sender is genuine, you should not follow any links, or reply.

The next thing to do is try and identify whether the email is a scam, or genuine. 

Here's some tips on spotting phishing emails

•Many phishing emails have poor grammar, punctuation and spelling.

•Is the design and overall quality what you'd expect from the organisation the email is supposed to come from?

•Is it addressed to you by name, or does it refer to 'valued customer', or 'friend', or 'colleague'? This can be a sign that the sender does not actually know you, and that it is part of a phishing scam.

•Does the email contain a veiled threat that asks you to act urgently? Be suspicious of words like 'send these details within 24 hours' or 'you have been a victim of crime, click here immediately'.

•Look at the sender's name. Does it sound legitimate, or is it trying to mimic someone you know?

•If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It's most unlikely that someone will want to give you money, or give you access to a secret part of the Internet.

•Your bank, or any other official source, should never ask you to supply personal information from an email. 

Try to check any claims made in the email through some other channel. For example, by calling your bank to see if they actually sent you an email or doing a quick Google search on some of the wording used in the email.

Coronavirus – unsafe and overpriced products

Our officers are aware that fake and unsafe products, such as scam tests for COVID-19 are being placed on the market.

Do not buy these products. If you see any such products for sale, report them to coronavirus@telford.gov.uk .

We are also aware that some shops and stores are charging highly inflated prices for items such as toilet rolls and hand sanitiser. While it isn’t illegal for them to hike prices as long as they are clearly marked, if you see a trader doing it, we want you to tell us on coronavirus@telford.gov.uk or 01952 381818.

Please remember that washing your hands with soap and water will help stop the spread of the virus. Hand sanitiser is only needed if there is no access to soap and water.

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