Coronavirus scams everyone in Liverpool needs to know about

As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the world, a range of scams have emerged from people looking to take advantage of the crisis.

Unfortunately, more than £1.5m have already been lost by coronavirus scams so far.

Earlier this year, Action Fraud warned of escalating numbers of cases targeting vulnerable people and examples of scams have only grown since then.

The schemes can come in the form of texts, phone calls, emails or in person scams.

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Here are some of the main ones you need to be aware of.

Fake products

The rise in demand for products like face masks, hand sanitiser and other hygiene products has meant a rise in those trying to sell counterfeit products.

At best these products are ineffective but can also prove dangerous.

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It is particularly important to be vigilant when buying online and to try to buy from a reputable source and do research around the products you need.

Earlier this year, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau said the 21 cases it had already investigated had resulted in victims losing a total of £800,000.

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Test and Trace scams

Fraudsters are trying to use the new Test and Trace system to con people.

This could involve a text or phone call from someone pretending to be a contact tracer asking for personal details like your name, address or bank details.

The official Test and Trace texts will come from the NHS and calls will come from 0300 0135000.

They won’t ask you for personal details.

Instead you will be given an account ID to sign into the Track and Trace website which will then guide you through what to do next.

Offers of money from ‘the government’

Ofcom has warned about scam texts claiming to be from the government.

Often these messages will include promise about receiving payments for things like free school meals or support payments.

They tend to include links which can lead to malicious websites and can sometimes ask for your personal information.

Fake lockdown fines

Similarly to the offers of money above, these will often purport to be from a government agency or the police.

The emails or texts often include claims of proof that you have broken lockdown and direct you to a link to ‘pay a fine’.

Conspiracy theory emails

Another type of email scam, these often involve emails being sent to people with unconfirmed or just inaccurate information.

Like the “government” emails, they will often be full of links that can be malicious.

Emails offering coronavirus information for money

These claim to be from reputable institutions like the World Health Organisation.

They will often offer to provide a list of people who have coronavirus in your area and will ask for payment to do so.