Coronavirus Scam Alert Issue #7

West Yorkshire Trading Standards has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 related scams.

What scams are trending at the moment in West Yorkshire?

  1. Reports of fraudsters targeting young mums on Facebook, cloning their account and messaging their contacts asking for financial support during the pandemic.
  2. Reports of itinerant traders targeting elderly and vulnerable residents operating in Dewsbury/Batley area and Pontefract area. Individuals offering driveway cleaning services and property maintenance.
  3. Reports of scam calls made by fraudsters purporting to be from Citizens Advice, stating there is a government initiative to enable people to write off 70% of their debt.

Top Tip: Bogus workmen may prey on the vulnerable and try to obtain cash through deception, for work that is not always necessary. Be aware of pressure selling tactics such as reducing the price to make you think you are getting a “good deal” or special discounts for OAP’s.

Scams Trending Regionally & Nationally

  1. New phishing email purporting to be from Amazon. The email is asking customers if they would like to apply for the Amazon grant relief fund to receive a grant of up to £1000.
  2. Criminals are taking advantage of the increase in charity donations made during the COVID-19 outbreak, exploiting people’s generosity for personal gain.
  3. Bereavement scams increase as fraudsters purport to be debt collectors recovering debts incurred by the deceased, pressurising relatives to pay the remaining debt. Inheritance Scams are also on the increase.

New mailbox to deal with reports of Covid-19 Scams in West Yorkshire: Covid19.Scams@wyjs.org.uk

Forward scam emails to report@phishing.gov.uk

Report complaints to Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133

Report scams to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040

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