The current COVID-19 outbreak has caused uncertainty and confusion across the world.
We have previously posted advice for the elderly to help them avoid falling for scams and fraudsters. However, there has been a new wave of scams exploiting the uncertainty surrounding the condition.
Scams have included medical kits that aim to prevent or cure Coronavirus and counterfeit or unsafe medical supplies such as hand sanitiser and swabbing kits. There’s also been a rise in financial scams including phone calls from people pretending to be banks or mortgage providers.
You can find a full list of Coronavirus related scams on the National Trading Standards website.
If you have an elderly friend or relative, make sure they’re aware of potential scams. It is important they understand that their bank or mortgage provider would never phone and ask for personal details or money.
If they receive a knock at the door from anyone they don’t know, they should ask for ID, or if they are not expecting anyone, simply don’t answer it. Especially during the current social distancing restrictions.
If you can, look out for signs of neighbours in your community being targeted by doorstep criminals.
There are lots of genuine volunteers providing food and essentials for the elderly and vulnerable at the moment. They should provide ID or should be a trusted family member or friend.
Be wary of unexpected emails and don’t click on links in attachments. Always go to the organisation’s website to check correct information and contact details.
Most importantly, you should trust your instincts. If anyone makes an offer that is simply too good to be true, it probably is and therefore is probably a scam.