Since COVID-19 arrived in the UK, Action Fraud has seen a 400% increase in reports related to fraud and scams. These COVID-19 scams are affecting everyone, and they reach us in many different ways; by email, by text message, face to face, by telephone, and by post. Don’t lose money to a scam. Here are some of the scams that the authorities are aware of:
- Cures or vaccines – there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 at present.
- People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to offer ‘home-testing’ for the virus. This is a scam. These kits are currently not available to buy.
- Strangers offering to do shopping or collecting medicine, and asking for money up front. If you need help, ask a family member, trusted friend or neighbour. If you have no one to help, contact one of the official helpline telephone numbers listed on the home page. Click here to go there.
- Residents in Ashford and Tenterden have received telephone calls claiming to be from the Government corona virus helpline, instructing them to buy face masks. People are told to Press 1 to buy the masks. This is a scam.
- Locally, there have been reports in Deal of people selling fish on the doorstep. Buying fresh goods on the doorstep means you have no idea as to their origin, freshness or quality.
Text messages, like the one on the left, saying that you have been fined for a breach of ‘lockdown’ regulations. This is a scam (click the picture to see it full size). You can also report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to, 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad.
IF YOU ARE APPROACHED UNEXPECTEDLY, REMEMBER TO:
- STOP: Take a moment to think before parting with money, or personal information.
- CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests.
- PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you have been victim to a scam. Use the contacts below to report a fraud or get advice.
CONTACTS FOR HELP:
- You can report fraud directly online to Action Fraud by clicking this link, or Telephone: 0300 123 2040
- If you think you have been scammed, and want advice, report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on, Telephone: 0808 223 1133
- Or you can contact Victim Support either on, Telephone: 08 08 1689 111 or click this link to visit their website.
- For an up to date list of all coronavirus related scams on the Kent Public Protection website and to find out how to report them click this link.