How to protect yourself against Coronavirus-related scams

A national fraud watchdog is alerting the local public about Coronavirus-related scams.

Action Fraud have teamed up with Thames Valley Alert to warn Newbury and Thatcham neighbourhoods.

In an email to their subscribers, they say:

“Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.”

They advise these simple steps to protect residents against the most common Coronavirus scams:

“1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.”

For more details you can visit Action Fraud’s website here:

Action Fraud Alert :: Home

Action Fraud Alert is provided by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau which is run by the City of London Police as a national service. Register to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area.

Thames Valley Alert carries out the exchange of information with Thames Valley Police, Neighbourhood Watch and other community groups, including in Newbury and Thatcham. Their website is here:

Thames Valley Alert

Thames Valley Police are committed to involving the community in the policing of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes. We believe that by improving the flow of information between the community and its police we can all make a greater impact in the prevention and detection of crime and anti social behaviour.

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