Residents are warned to be on their guard against scammers who are trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
We have received information that scammers are using the situation to extort money or gain access to people’s homes.
These scams include:
- door-to-door fraudsters impersonating NHS staff and offering help with shopping in return for payment, or seeking donations to fund a vaccine
- individuals offering to go shopping for the elderly as a means to get and keep their money
- criminals calling at homes and selling people bogus tests to see if they're infected with the disease
Fraudsters are also sending out Coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments, or revealing sensitive personal and financial details.
- a text message claiming to be from Gov.UK stating “Enter Your Post Code to Apply for COVID-19 Relieve” (sic).
- a so-called urgent text to say the UK Government has issued a payment to all residents as part of its promise to battle COVID-19 - with a scam link to click.
- emails from scammers claiming to be from research organisations affiliated with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisations (WHO), offering people a list of Coronavirus infected people in their area via a link leading to a bogus website, or requesting payment in Bitcoin.
Residents are urged not to click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
If you’re making a purchase from a company, or a person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.
Do not let strangers into your home, particularly at this time of self-isolation and social distancing. The Council is supporting Volunteer Centre Sutton, Age UK and Community Action Sutton to coordinate volunteer work. Those wanting to volunteer - and Sutton residents needing support - should visit Volunteer Centre Sutton’s website.
Residents can also find out more information on the Friends Against Scams website.