Scammers - Bexley Trading Standards update

Scammers taking advantage of Coronavirus pandemic

Residents are warned to be on their guard against scammers who are trying to take advantage of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Bexley Trading Standards have received information that scammers are using the situation to extort money or gain access to people’s homes.

Scams include:

  • door-to-door fraudsters impersonating NHS staff and offering help with shopping in return for payment, or seeking donations to fund a vaccine
  • individuals offering to go shopping for the elderly as a means to get and keep their money
  • criminals calling at homes and selling people bogus tests to see if they're infected with the disease

Fraudsters are also sending out Coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details.

Text examples include:

  • a text message claiming to be from Gov.UK stating ‘Enter Your Post Code to Apply for COVID-19 Relieve
  • a so-called urgent text to say the UKGOV has issued a payment to all residents as part of its promise to battle COVID 19 - with a scam link to tap
Text scam example

Email examples include:

  • emails from scammers claiming to be from research organisations affiliated with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisations (WHO), offering people a list of Coronavirus infected people in their area  via a link leading to a bogus website, or requesting payment in Bitcoin.
Email link scam example

Residents are urged not to click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

Do not let strangers into your home, particularly at this time of self-isolation and social distancing.

The Council has teamed up with the Bexley Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) to co-ordinate volunteer work. Those wanting to volunteer and Bexley residents needing support should visit the BVSC website.