Unfortunately during these unprecedented times, there is an increase of online and door-step scams.
The National Trading Standards Scams Team are making people aware of coronavirus scams through their 'Friends Against Scams' campaign. This page gives information about current scams, and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Be aware of people offering or selling
- virus testing kits - these are only offered by NHS
- vaccines or miracle cures – there is currently no vaccine or cure
- overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus, such as anti-bacterial products
- fake shopping or medication collection services - if you need help with these things visit Charnwood Community Action
- home cleaning services
How to protect yourself and others
- Be suspicious of all 'too good to be true' offers and deals. There are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes
- Do not agree to offers/deals immediately. Insist on time to obtain independent/legal advice before making a decision
- Do not hand over money or sign anything until you've checked the credentials of the company or individual
- Never give banking or personal details to anyone you do not know or trust
- Always log on to a website directly rather than clicking links provided in an email or text message
- Always get independent advice if an offer involvees money, time or commitment
- Do not be embarrassed to report a scam
If you spot a scam or have been scammed, report it and get help. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit the Action Fraud website.
You can also contact the police (phone 101) if the suspect is known or still in the area.
COVID-19 Council Tax Discount Phishing Email
A NAFN member has received an allegation from a resident concerning a potential Council Tax Fraud Scam.
The fraudster has sent letters to residents purporting to be from the LB of Waltham Forest Council relating to potential reductions in council tax as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.
The letter directs the recipient to what appears to be a UK government website: (gov.waltham-support.co.uk) where they are prompted to enter a 6-digit reference number contained in the letter. When entered, the address the letter was sent to is displayed and the user is asked to provide certain personal information.
It is not possible to establish exactly what information beyond the identity of all occupants, is being requested as this would mean compromising the address of the person who reported the scam. Both the letter and the website are fake but are of good quality and, as a result, are fairly convincing.
The points to be aware of are:
- The web address quoted ends co.uk – almost invariably, online business conducted by local and central government organisations will end .gov.uk. The use of the word gov anywhere in a web address other than immediately before .uk may well suggest an attempted fraud.
- Any Council offering a discount on council tax will write to the person liable and whose name appears on the bill – not ‘The Occupier’.
- The standard of English used in the letter falls far below that a Council would use in generic correspondence.
It is believed the website has been set up to facilitate fraud but the headers and footers do not link to the UK Government website as a genuine Government webpage would. Also, because this is a scam scheme, there is no information available on either the Council or Government websites which supports the content of the letter.
If you would like to report any instances of the above information being used in similar fraud attempts please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and the details will be forwarded to the relevant teams. Alerts provides information about fraud, risks and trends which may affect members; your contributions are vital – please email them to NAFN. Where appropriate please include handling restrictions.
Last updated: Tue 15th September, 2020 @ 09:21