Our trading standards team is helping to highlight and combat these crimes.
At any time there are numerous scams going on. Citizens Advice research shows that almost three-quarters of people have been targeted by scammers in the last 2 years either via mail, phone calls, text messages, emails, online, or face-to-face. Given the uncertainty created by the pandemic, it's more important than ever that people know how to protect themselves and others from scams.
The latest coronavirus scams include ones pretending to be from the government. You may get a text message saying the government has issued you a payment of £458 and you need to click on the link to claim it. Don’t as it’s a scam, as is any email supposedly from Gov.uk saying that you are to be fined for leaving your home more than once. The only proper source for information issued by the government is Gov.uk.
People are also being warned about possible scams by call, text or email in relation to the new NHS test and trace service. Genuine contact tracers will never ask for any passwords, bank details or pin numbers – any communication from them will be asking you to sign into the NHS test and trace website.
Since the start of the lockdown our trading standards team has been working to protect those residents identified as particularly vulnerable to scams and fraud. They have contacted over four hundred people to provide reassurance and advice.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:
“This year protecting people against scams is more important than ever. The coronavirus pandemic means many people are facing challenges around employment, debt, housing and health which can make them vulnerable to scammers.
“Our trading standards team is working hard to protect particularly vulnerable Derbyshire residents and to create awareness across the county of possible scams so that people can protect themselves and others.”
There are doorstep, phone and online scams to watch out for at any time and particularly at the moment. Doorstep scammers may be offering fake virus testing kits or offering to do your shopping and making off with your cash. Phone fraudsters are often after bank details and online crooks may be selling fake goods or using 'phishing' emails with malicious attachments to get people’s personal and financial information.
There are many sources of support and information about scams including:
Scams Awareness fortnight is led by Citizens Advice and takes place annually in June. It aims to raise awareness of scams and to help people protect themselves and others from becoming victims of scams.