Coronavirus Scams on the Rise – Don’t Get Caught Out

The past few weeks has seen Coronavirus take over not only the headlines, but also our daily lives. From watching the Prime Minister’s daily briefings through to making changes to our habits and activities, our normal lives have become temporarily suspended as we focus on the health and welfare of our friends and families.

Unfortunately, this may lead some people to let their guard down around other areas, leaving the opportunity for scammers and fraudsters to take advantage.

Indeed, reports of Coronavirus related scams are already emerging. Scammers are now praying on the public’s worry, targeting victims using a wide variety of methods including emails, text messages, social media posts, online advertisements and phone calls.

Here are some tips of what to watch out for:

Fraudulent sellers

In their desperation to get hold of protective items or cleaning products, people are being caught out by ordering items such as face masks, hand gel and cleaning staples from fake companies, paying to purchase items that never arrive. Be mindful of any emails you receive offering the sale of these goods and only buy from trusted websites you have shopped from previously.

Doorstepping

Most people would normally be wary of doorsteppers, but the techniques being used in the light of the Coronavirus crisis are catching people out. Scams include people knocking on doors claiming to be from the health services to offer tests and vaccines for Covid-19, through to people volunteering to go and buy essentials and never returning with the goods. You should exercise the same level of caution you would normally, never handing over cash or bank details to anyone unknown who knocks on your door.

Holiday refunds

Many of us will have had holidays planned and unfortunately cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. As a result, there are a number of scams circulating regarding applying for refunds or compensation. Do not give your credit card or bank details either over the phone or by email. Many companies should be able to issue a refund automatically to your original payment method. If in doubt, call the company you booked with directly on the phone number you know to be correct, ie. on the original booking confirmation email.

Charity appeals

It is true that many people are suffering in different ways as a result of the Coronavirus crisis and those of us with a generous nature may want to try and help. Beware of emails from supposed health organisations, such as the WHO, asking for donations to help with research. Anything of this nature is unlikely to be genuine.

If you are keen to help, get in touch with a charity by visiting their website or ringing them directly. Never click links in emails or in online advertisements as these could take you to fake websites that are being operated by fraudsters.

Offers of one-off payments

There have been reports of scams that are asking people to enter their postcode and bank/card details in order to receive a one-off payment from the government. There is no such scheme currently available, so do not be tempted to submit any of your details.

General tips:

• Never give your bank details over the phone – even your bank will never ask for these.
• At this time, we should be strictly limiting our social contact to those we live with. But in the event that you need to, only allow neighbours, friends, family members or known health professionals into your home.
• Remember that fraudsters do this for a living and can be extremely convincing. No-one is immune to the tricks of scammers and even some of our savviest clients have been caught out over the years. In these times of uncertainty especially, please take further care and pay extra attention.

If you are unsure about any email, phone call or contact you receive, please feel free to send it on to us for advice. It may be helpful to familiarise yourself with our team, so you can be sure you are speaking to someone trustworthy.

Meet our team here.

This entry was posted in Gresham News. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Twitter

  • Testimonials

    A very personalised service… All advice is tailored to my needs with great consideration to issues I may not have thought of myself. I feel confident about my future finances.
    Before I chose Gresham I spoke to a number of IFA’s but none of them gave me the same confidence I had when I spoke to Morven. Everything, both written and spoken, is explained in an easy to understand way. All my pensions have been dealt with extremely efficiently and I am very happy with the service I have received from everyone at Gresham.
    I’m really impressed by how responsive you have all been to get this through against such a tight timescale.
    I just want to thank you and your team so very much for all you do for me throughout the year. It is a real comfort to know that my investments are in such capable hands. I literally couldn’t do it on my own.
    The professionalism of your service continues to give me confidence that we are pursuing the optimum route with our finances. The sound advice you provide is more critical than ever in the current climate.
    Morven’s guidance about pensions and investments has provided us with excellent returns, even during the recent turbulent financial times. She has been a helpful and friendly advisor for many years and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
    We are both very grateful for the time you spent with us in explaining various options. We certainly feel we now both have a much better understanding of our situation & the decisions which we need to consider moving forward.
    It’s lovely for us to have nice friendly advisors like Jonathan and Morven.
    We feel we can phone at any time during office hours if we need anything clarifying. Our financial adviser knows our personal circumstances and is in tune with our goals and lifestyle. His advice has been and continues to be excellent.
    I knew I had to start the ball rolling with getting our finances sorted but it was a hard thing for me to do as it cements the fact that our lives have changed forever. You made the whole process so much easier.
Main Menu