A number of new scams have been circulating, relating specifically to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Some of these scams include:
- People offering miracle cures or vaccines. There is currently NO specific treatment or preventative vaccine for COVID-19.
- Home cleaning services.
- People claiming to be healthcare workers and offering to deliver home testing kits.
- Emails saying you can get refunds on taxes, utilities and more.
- A number of new mobile phone apps which claim to give COVID-19 updates, but instead lock your phone and demand a ransom.
- People offering to do your shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.
In order to help protect yourself from being scammed, there are a number of things you can do:
- Be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don't be afraid to hang up or close the door to people if you feel uncomfortable.
- Take your time and don't be rushed by people.
- If someone claims to be from a charity, ask them for ID.
- Be suspicious of services asking for money upfront, and try and check with a trusted relative or friend if you're unsure.
- When online, be aware of fake news stories and adverts for miracle cures, home testing kits and vaccines. Do not order any of these.
- Protect your financial information such as bank details and PIN number. Never give your bank card or PIN number to a stranger. Please note that banks, hospitals and the police will NEVER ask you for bank details over the phone.