Coronavirus Fraud and Scam Warning Image: AdobeStock_87212890

Bedfordshire Police has said that it has been made aware of a number of scams where fraudsters are using concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic to take advantage of their victims.

It is encouraging Bedfordshire residents to be vigilant against any unsolicited messages from unknown sources asking for personal details.

There is a number of fraud variations using Coronavirus as a ‘hook’:

  • Fraudulent sellers – victim purchases a large amount of masks or other products which are never delivered
  • Malicious attachments and links – offender claims to be from the World Health Organisation (WHO), NHS or other health organisations claiming to have a list of infected individuals in the victim’s area and prompts them to click on a link or open an attachment to access this information
  • Fraudulent charities – fraudsters set up fake charities claiming to raise money for people affected by the pandemic

To minimise a chance of becoming a victim of fraud or a scam follow simple advice:

  • Do not click on any links sent to you from an unknown organisation or person and don’t open any suspicious email attachments
  • Only use trusted sources, like the Government website, for updates and information
  • Never reveal your personal or financial information in an email, text or over the phone
  • If you wish to make a donation check the legitimacy on the government charity register
  • If you are making purchases online do a thorough research of the seller, and when making payment use a credit card as most major providers insure online purchases

If you have any concerns about any suspicious messages or you have been targeted by a fraudster, report it to Action Fraud.

You can also report crime to Bedfordshire Police online or by calling 101.