We have a fantastic local community, with help available to anyone who needs it. But do please be aware that not everyone out there is trustworthy and some unscrupulous people will try and take advantage of the unusual situation our society is facing.
Surrey County Council’s Trading Standards have highlighted below the latest scams and tricks so you can be aware and not be taken advantage of. Please note fraudsters come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online.
To stay updated on the latest scams you can obtain the latest Trading Standards Alerts Newsletter via https://scc.newsweaver.co.uk/tradingstandards/esixlzwql0k?a=6&p=56685271&t=29797402
Coronavirus scams advice
This is what Trading Standards are currently aware of. This list isn’t exhaustive, but please be aware:
- People offering miracle cures for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for coronavirus – this is a scam these kits are not currently available to buy.
- The council do not need to enter your house to do a deep clean.
- Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes or business rates should be treated with extreme caution. Often the sender just wants your personal details.
- There are new mobile phone apps that claim to give you updates on the virus, instead they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
- Your bank or the police will NEVER ask for your bank details over the phone.
- People offering to do your shopping and ask for money upfront and then disappear.
Tips to avoid getting tricked out of your money
- Do not place items on your doorstep to say you need help as this is an invitation to scammers that you may be in a vulnerable situation.
- Be sceptical, don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
- Take your time, don’t be rushed.
- If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as GOV.UK or NHS.UK
- Know who you’re dealing with. If you need help, talk to someone at an organisation you know – or at the Parish Council, Borough Council or County Council – or a local Residents Association.
- Protect your financial information, especially from people you don’t know. Never give your bank card or PIN number to a stranger.
Report a scam
If you think you have been scammed then call the police on 101 (999 only in an emergency)
To report a complaint relating to a coronavirus scam you can contact Trading Standards by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call 01296 388788.
Or visit: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/business-and-consumers/trading-standards
A reminder, the Surrey County Council Coronovirus Community Helpline number is now available 7 days a week: