Spotting the scammers

Alert message sent 20/03/2020 17:25:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

Wiltshire Police wants to remind residents to be aware of fraudsters trying to take advantage of others during the current global situation.

We've heard from other police forces of new scams which are targeting the elderly and most vulnerable who are self-isolating at home.

Examples of fraud include, people visiting homes posing as police officers and/or health officials trying to gain entry with a view to burgle them. The criminals will often offer fake coronavirus testing as well as bogus food and medicine delivery services.

So far, we have not seen any such cases in Wiltshire - but we want to make people aware.

Top tips to thwart the fraudsters:

• Be a good neighbour - keep an eye on an elderly or vulnerable person living near you.
• Check ID - volunteers working with the health and emergency services will be in possession of the necessary documentation to prove they are genuine.
• If in doubt call us - if you are not sure about someone, don't engage and report any serious suspicious behaviour. 
• Online fraud - don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
• Shopping online - if buying 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.

The majority of groups are well intentioned and will be working with charities or a local authority and should have proof that they are doing so.

Remember, currently in Wiltshire, police officers and medical professionals are not doing door-to-door checks or administering tests.

Report any suspicious person or activity to us straight away so we can gather evidence and take action against the individuals.

Call 101, if non-urgent, or 999 in an emergency.  You can also report crime online now via our website

There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website.
Message sent by
Mark Jones (Police, Media Officer, Wiltshire)

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