With the recent news of scammers exploiting fears of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), The Bobby Scheme warns all those self-isolating, the over 70s and anyone looking up Coronavirus support on unknown websites, to check that the help being offered is legitimate.
Scammers have been buying lists of names of infected/vulnerable victims who are isolating at home and contacting them, offering to do their shopping, getting their money and not returning.
If you or any family members are approached for shopping, or any other type of support, by someone unknown, we highly recommend declining their offer and not giving them any more information. In place of this, we ask if neighbours and extended family and friends can step in to help those in need.
Coronavirus scams are also being carried on fake websites and via direct emails.
According to the National Cyber Security Centre (a part of GCHQ created to keep the UK safe online) bogus emails with links claiming to have important updates, which once clicked on, are leading to devices being infected, losses of money and the capturing of sensitive data.
In recent days, the NCSC has taken measures to automatically discover and remove malicious sites which use COVID-19 and Coronavirus as a lure to make victims ‘click the link’.
Paul Chichester, Director of Operations at the NCSC, said:
“We know that cyber criminals are opportunistic and will look to exploit people’s fears, and this has undoubtedly been the case with the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Our advice to the public is to follow our guidance, which includes everything from password advice to spotting suspect emails. In the event that someone does fall victim to a phishing attempt, they should look to report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible.”
If you suspect a fraudulent act, please inform your local parish council and provide as much information as possible. If you feel in danger, call 999 immediately.
See below a link to local support groups offering help during the Coronavirus period..