Trafford Council Trading Standards officers are urging residents to be aware of a number of scams operating during the coronavirus lockdown.
Criminals are using the internet as a tool to target vulnerable people who are searching for information online and are also going door-to-door offering tests for the virus.
But Trafford Council is urging people not to be taken in by the scams and to report anything they find to be suspicious to the authorities.
One message, said to be from the Government, offers ‘Covid-19 relief’ and asks people to input their postcode and bank account numbers.
Another scam text tells people they are being given a fine because ‘they have been out of the house more than once.’
The message claims to have been sent by GOV.UK and says the original fine could increase to £5,000 and/or arrest and payment will be taken automatically.
The banking industry has issued a warning about the fraud, which is known as "smishing", and is urging everyone to be vigilant as criminals continue to exploit the coronavirus pandemic.
Cllr Mike Freeman, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Public Safety, Governance and Reform, said:
These scams are designed to target the most vulnerable people in our communities and the people behind them are nothing but criminals.
We are warning everyone to please be vigilant – if you receive one of these emails or texts, delete it straight away and certainly do not follow the instructions that are given. These messages can look professional and it is easy to be fooled, but remember nobody will lawfully be asking for you to give them your bank details.
For more information, please go to actionfraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040. People should also look out for warnings on social media and Ican messages from the police and trading standards.
Posted on Tuesday 31st March 2020