Reported by Daily Record – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media. 

Shameless fraudsters are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic and using it to make money.

Police Scotland say criminals have been targeting worried members of the public with emails, texts, telephone calls and WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for coronavirus.

Scammers are even setting up fake websites selling bogus testing kits or pleading for donations for fake coronavirus victims.

Officers said opportunists were using the pandemic as an excuse to knock on doors and con residents.

There have already been incidents reported across Scotland, including gangs pretending to be from charities and people offering to shop for elderly people, taking money and not coming back.

Here are seven of the scams to look out for and how not to fall prey to fraudsters.


Doorstep crime

Criminals are targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do shopping. Thieves take their money and don’t return.

There have been reports of scammers offering to take peoples’ temperatures or offering to clean doorways to kill bacteria, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.

Police Scotland’s Chief Superintendent David Duncan, Safer Communities Division, said: “Anyone can be a victim of doorstep crime; it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

“Criminals can be very clever, and play on your emotions and insecurities. If someone comes to your door claiming to be from a legitimate organisation, always ask for identification.

“Don’t give people money or your bank details if they come to your door and offer to do shopping for you if you don’t know them. And never give your debit or credit card and pin number to anyone.

“If you are self-isolating, let friends and family know and if in doubt about anyone offering services at your door, step back and take a few minutes to contact them for advice.

Online scams

Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments are putting people at the risk of identity theft.

Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people who are affected by coronavirus locally.

Hackers have even sent emails that look like they’re giving information about coronavirus.

Google recently revealed its blocking 18 million hoax emails about Covid-19 every day.

The tech giant says the pandemic has led to an explosion of phishing attacks in order to claim people’s sensitive data.

The virus may now be the biggest phishing topic in history.

Fake online resources – such as false coronavirus Maps – that deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing programme which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data.

A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’.

Angela Brand, one of the officers seconded to The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) from Police Scotland, said there has been a marked increase in phishing emails, scams, along with cybercrime and fraud as a result of the outbreak.

Refund scams

Bogus companies and websites have been offering fake holiday refunds to people who have been forced to cancel their trips.

Scammers are reportedly targeting people attempting to get holiday and cruise refunds from TUI, British Airways and RyanAir.

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#Fife #LocalServices #EqNews #Scams #SaferCommunities