Derbyshire County Council Scams Bulletin - Covid-19 Edition

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Scams bulletin, Derbyshire County Council

Welcome to the Covid-19 Derbyshire County Council Scams Awareness Bulletin 

June 2020 - Edition 13

This bulletin gives details of scams and tricks that our Trading Standards Department, other council staff and partner agencies have been made aware of in recent weeks. Please feel free to share this bulletin far and wide - you can send it to colleagues, family members or friends as it is a public bulletin.

NHS Test and Trace

test and trace


The NHS test and trace service will alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. This alert will either be via a text from the NHS, email or phone call from 0300 0135000.

You will then be asked to sign in to the test and trace website


The NHS Test and Trace service will not:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to download anything
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

Text Message Scams

Scam text messages are being reported which make claims that UKGOV has issued a payment of £458 to all residents as part of its promise to battle COVID-19.

The messages contain a link, which recipients are asked to click on in order to apply for the money.

These messages are a scam.

Do not click on links or reply to unsolicited text messages or emails. If you receive this message or similar, delete it.

Top 4 text message scams include:

  • Fake URL links to "claim" supposed Covid-19 related payments
  • Lockdown fine
  • Offers of health supplement
  • Offer of financial support that appears to be from your bank
Scams text message
top scams

Email Scams

Email scam

Falsely claiming that government grants have been approved

Things to look out for:

  • Email address, does it look real? Example of the fake email address -
  • Subjects such as "You have a grant for 3650GBP"
  • The email is likely to have a link to click on to share your personal information in order to claim the grant

The HMRC will never email you about rebates, refunds or grants they will always do this by writing to you instead.

Doorstep scams


People selling Covid-19 tests - Virus testing kits are only offered by the NHS.

People selling fake sanitiser / PPE face masks / vaccine - There is currently no vaccine or cure. PPE could be unsafe and over priced.

Offering shopping services where they take the money and do not return

Cleaning services for driveways and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus

Donation scams - collecting donations for a COVID-19 vaccine

Courier Fraud

There has been an increase in courier fraud during Covid-19.

Fraudsters are ringing people claiming to be from the Police or HMRC to trick the person into revealing their PIN and agreeing to hand over their debit or credit card.
The scammer then sends a courier to collect the bank card.
Once they have the bank card they can then spend your money.

  • Your bank will never send a courier to your home
  • Your bank / Police will never collect your bank card
  • Your bank / Police will never ask for your PIN

If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately.
If you have given fraudsters any details you should call your bank ASAP to cancel your cards.

Note fraudster using this method have a way of keeping the line open at their end so either use a different phone, or wait at least 10 minutes before calling so that the fraudsters will be disconnected from the line.

Courier fraud

National Cyber Security Centre’s new phishing email reporting service


Have you received a suspicious email?

You can now report any emails that you have received which you're not sure about to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) by emailing it to

Digital MOT to help people stay safe online

Digital MOT

Cybercrime is becoming an increasing threat in our more digital society and criminals are finding new and inventive ways to try and get personal data and information.

To help people feel safe and secure when they’re online, Safer Derbyshire are launching a brand new Digital MOT service which is available for employees and people in the local community.

It’s an online risk assessment tool that has been designed to help people review their online safety and identify any actions they can take to protect themselves.

All you have to do is answer a few simple questions about your online habits and you’ll be able to see the most important steps you can take to avoid falling victim to cyber-scammers.

Complete the Digital MOT now and find out how you can be more secure online.


Criminals are clever and regularly come up with new ways to scam people out of their money. A good way to keep up with the latest scams and tricks is to get notifications on your Facebook or Twitter timeline.

Follow these accounts for up-to-date information:

Action Fraud: or

Derbyshire Scamwatch:  or

Friends Against Scams: or

Reporting scams and getting advice

Scam watch

Get advice from Citizens Advice Consumer Service, tel: 03454 04 05 06 or visit:

Report scams and suspected scams to Action Fraud  or tel: 0300 123 2040.

Send potential postal scams with a covering letter to Royal Mail at FREEPOST Scam Mail, email: or tel: 03456 113 413.

Report unsolicited marketing calls to the Information Commissioner's Office  or tel: 0303 123 1113.

Register phone numbers with the Telephone Preference Service or tel: 0845 070 0707.

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is free and can help reduce unsolicited mail by calling 0845 703 4599.

Contact the Age UK Derby and Derbyshire Information and Advice Line on tel: 01773 768240. Age UK also have a downloadable guide on recognising and dealing with all kinds of scams.

Derbyshire Scamwatch is a project funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire. The aim is to raise awareness, particularly amongst older residents, of the potential harmful effects of mass-marketing, internet, doorstep and telephone scams and to provide one-to-one advice and support where potential scam/fraud victims are identified.

The Think Jessica website has lots of information and advice about all different types of scams and tricks.

Sign up to receive the Scams Awareness Bulletin by email (you'll be asked to provide your email address, set a password and then you can select the Scams Awareness Bulletin from the social care and health section).

Tell a trusted friend, relative or neighbour.