News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 23 June 2020

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News and Scam Alerts from Coventry Trading Standards - 23 June 2020

In this issue:

Scams Awareness Campaign 2020


Coventry Trading Standards is supporting the current Citizens Advice campaign on scams awareness.

The focus of this year’s campaign is on COVID-19 related scams.

At a time when lots of people are under financial pressure, health related anxieties are widespread, and businesses face existential threats; the danger of scams that tap into and prey on people’s vulnerabilities during this crisis is acute. Lockdown hasn’t deterred scammers.

Research carried out by Citizens Advice has shown over a third (36%) of UK adults have been the target of a scam since lockdown began.

With this overall heightened uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic, even the savvier are more likely to fall victim to a scam.

Coronavirus - be aware of new scams

It is important for residents to be aware of the many new COVID-19 related scams around now which include:

Doorstep crime

  • Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return.
  • Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Online scams

  • Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, putting people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
  • Fake emails from Research organisations affiliated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) making claim they can provide the recipient online resources – such as false Coronavirus infection maps – for a small donation.
  • Pop ups on social media or WhatsApp, usually purporting the be from national supermarkets or national chains offering ‘free’ vouchers. These are no more than an attempt to gain personal details.

Refund scams

  • Companies offering fake holiday refunds for individuals who have been forced to cancel their trips. People seeking refunds should also be wary of fake websites set up to claim holiday refunds.

Counterfeit goods

  • Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014.

Telephone scams

  • As people self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk of telephone scams including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company.

Donation scams

  • There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.

Loan sharks

  • Illegal money lenders are expected to prey on people’s financial hardship, lending money before charging extortionate interest rates and fees through threats and violence.To report a loan shark in confidence, contact the Illegal Money Lending Team on 0300 555 2222 or fill out the online form.

Trading Standards urge residents to keep in contact with vulnerable family members, neighbours and friends and inform them of the most prolific scams and the possible dangers to them.

If you have received a potential scam message or become aware of a potential scam, but no money has been lost, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133. 

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam and lost money you should report it online to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.

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For more information on scams, visit:

How to report scams