Be vigilant against COVID-19 scams

Be vigilant against COVID-19 scams

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Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service has issued a warning to local residents and businesses to be aware of fraudsters who are trying to exploit fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

The outbreak of coronavirus has seen an increase in scams that include counterfeit medical kits that claim to prevent or cure the disease and fake online coronavirus resources which can contain damaging software.

Counterfeit goods such as hand sanitiser, face masks and swabbing kits are also being widely advertised online.

Financial scams, both online and by telephone, have also increased as criminals seek to take advantage of the financial uncertainty many people and businesses face due to the coronavirus.

These include calls pretending to be from your bank or mortgage provider and an increase in loan shark activity.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards are urging people to remain vigilant and to watch out for scams in their neighbourhood, which often target elderly and vulnerable people within the community.

Communities are also being urged to look out for doorstep traders.  Whilst there are many genuine community groups and charities that are helping those who are most isolated, it is important to be aware of those who may be taking money under the false pretence of helping with day-to-day tasks.

A full list of identified scams can be viewed on the National Trading Standards website.

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