Residents across Cheshire are being urged to be vigilant following an emerging national trend of fraudsters taking advantage of the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Nationally, there have been reports of people visiting homes posing as police officers and health officials in a bid to gain entry to homes of the elderly and vulnerable. Some reports suggest scammers are even promising fake coronavirus tests or offering to deliver shopping and other essentials in exchange for money to assist those who are self-isolating. Whilst there have been no specific reports within the county residents are urged to remain vigilant and be on their guard.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “Over recent weeks there has been significant coverage of the spread of coronavirus and we have been made aware of fraudsters taking advantage of this to target the most vulnerable in our communities.Although there have been no incidents reported to us, it is likely that this will change over time and we may start to see these scams across Cheshire. That is why it is important that everyone listens to the advice and takes note to ensure we can protect the elderly and most vulnerable in our society from these senseless scammers.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane, said: “It is despicable that fraudsters are exploiting this public health emergency and targeting the most vulnerable people in our communities at a time when they are more vulnerable than ever. Police in Cheshire are continuing to work hard to keep us safe in these uncertain times and I would urge you to follow the key scam advice to help you stay safe in your homes.”
• Police officers will never approach you to take a Coronavirus test.
• If someone knocks at your door, always examine and check their identification. If you are unsure please call the organisation or company they are claiming to work for. If they are genuine they will not mind.
• You do not have to let them in and they must leave if you tell them to.
• Never let anyone in your house unless they are someone you know and trust.
• If someone is trying to rush you into doing something, handing over money or taking a test it is likely that they are involved in a scam.
• Never give money or your card and pin number to anyone.
• Be aware that scammers can be clever, they will have done their homework and will often know a lot of information about people they target. Often they are very organised.
• If you believe that you have been victim of fraud call us on 101 or report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.