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Met Police warn people to be vigilant to fraudsters preying on coronavirus fears

PUBLISHED: 13:31 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:24 20 March 2020

Stock image of police. Picture: Met Police

Stock image of police. Picture: Met Police

MPS

The Met Police is warning people to be vigilant to a number of scams being carried out by criminals looking to cash in on people’s fears about coronavirus.

The majority of incidents reported relate to online shopping scams where people have ordered and paid for personal protective equipment, which has then never arrived.

Scotland Yard has also received a small number of reports where people are using coronavirus as a guise to gain entry to homes and steal.

If you get an unsolicited home visit from anyone offering a service and asking for payment or to be let into your home, ask to see their ID and check it carefully.

If you still have suspicions, shut the door and report the call the police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

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There have also been reports of coronavirus-themed phishing emails being sent. These attempt to trick people into opening attachments which could enable fraudsters to steal personal information, passwords and banking details.

Emails sent by fraudsters are often sophisticated and look like genuine emails from banks and other websites. Don’t click on the links or attachments.

Supt Lis Chapple, the Met’s lead for crime prevention, inclusion and engagement, said: “We are seeing communities across London rallying together to help each other through this unprecedented public health crisis, and what is a difficult time for many. However, there are a small number of unscrupulous people out there who see it as an opportunity to con others for personal gain.

“The most vulnerable in society are often targeted which makes the offending all the more despicable, and the Met is committed to identifying these people and ensuring they are held to account for their actions.

“Please take a moment to think about who you are speaking to, what you are agreeing to and what you may be clicking on online. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

For more crime prevention advice, visit: https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.


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