Protect yourself from 'opportunist' scammers in Derbyshire during virus pandemic

Scams set up by opportunists during the coronavirus pandemic are the focus of an awareness campaign in Derbyshire this month.
Scams can take place by phone, email or door-to-door.Scams can take place by phone, email or door-to-door.
Scams can take place by phone, email or door-to-door.

Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards team is helping to highlight and combat these crimes as part of Scams Awareness Fortnight, which runs until June 28.

Research shows that almost three-quarters of people have been targeted by scammers in the last two years either via mail, phone calls, text messages, emails, online, or face-to-face.

The latest coronavirus scams include ones pretending to be from the government. You may get a text message saying the government has issued you a payment of £458 and you need to click on the link to claim it.

Don’t click as it’s a scam, as is any email supposedly from gov.uk saying that you are to be fined for leaving your home more than once.

People are also being warned about possible scams by call, text or email in relation to the new NHS test and trace service.

Genuine contact tracers will never ask for any passwords, bank details or pin numbers – any communication from them will be asking you to sign into the NHS test and trace website.

Since the start of the lockdown, the county council’s trading standards team has been working to protect those residents identified as particularly vulnerable to scams and fraud.

They have contacted more than four hundred people to provide reassurance and advice.

Derbyshire County Council cabinet member for health and communities councillor Carol Hart said: “This year protecting people against scams is more important than ever.

“The coronavirus pandemic means many people are facing challenges around employment, debt, housing and health which can make them vulnerable to scammers.“Our trading standards team is working hard to protect particularly vulnerable Derbyshire residents and to create awareness across the county of possible scams so that people can protect themselves and others.”

Visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/scams to find out more.