Trading Standards - Scams

Scams related to COVID-19

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the spread of Coronavirus to exploit and play on the fears of consumers across the country.

There have been an increasing number of reports of potential scams which could affect you. We want to make sure that whilst you may be self-isolating and spending more time at home, you do not become a victim.

To report a scam please contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

For all consumer advice please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 

Online scam checker

Don't 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.

Emails claiming to be from the government are offering a tax rebate to support people through this challenging period. The emails, which look official, inform the recipient of the rebate amount and request that they click a link to receive it. At the link, the recipient is asked to fill in personal details, including their credit card number and address. These details allow the scammer to take money directly from the recipient's bank account.

Emails claiming to be from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The email, which claims to hold crucial coronavirus safety advice, has an attachment which downloads a keylogger, allowing scammers to follow the online movements of the user, and gain access to their device and personal details.

There are reports of several 'coronavirus update' apps, which claim to provide updates on the virus. 

The fake app contains a form of 'ransomware', named CovidLock, which upon downloading, locks the phone and displays a message demanding that the user pay a sum of money to unlock it. 

These apps are available to download from various unofficial websites. 

Phone users are advised to only download apps directly from the Apple Store, or Android Play Store as these are safety checked by the platforms.

  • People claiming to be officials who are offering testing for coronavirus in the home.
  • Callers offering to help with shopping and collecting essential supplies who take your money but then do not return - this is theft and should be reported to the Police on 101.
  • Businesses offering to clean and disinfect your front door and pathways.
  • Fraudulent websites offering to sell goods such as hand sanitizer or protective face masks which are ordered and never delivered.
  • Bogus health products claiming to offer protection and cure of the virus