Be Cautious

Thursday 7 May 2020

Please be vigilant of scams

There has been a rise in scams that exploit people using the fear and uncertainty around COVID-19. These scams are taking place online, door to door and via telephone,

Be aware of people offering or selling:

  • Virus testing kits- these are only offered by the NHS

  • Vaccines or miracle cures- there is currently no vaccine or cure.

  • Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus e.g. antibacterial products

  • Fake Shopping or medication collection services – Ask for ID to check they are from an official charity.

  • Home cleaning services.

  • Email Scams- do not click any suspicious attachments e.g. emails offering information about people in the local area affected by coronavirus.

  • Do not open Fake Online Resources- e.g. false coronavirus maps.

  • Refund scams- be aware of fake websites & companies set up claiming to assist with holiday refunds. 

  • Donation scams- ask for ID to check they are from an official charity.

  • Loan Sharks- watch out for illegal money lenders.

What to do if you see anything suspicious

Report it to Action Fraud

Or if you need to speak to someone for advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service

How to protect yourself and others

Be on your guard for possible COVID-19 scams and look out for vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may become a target for fraudsters.

National Trading Standards encourages people to protect their neighbours by joining Friends Against Scams, which provides free online training to empower people to take a stand against scams. To complete free online modules, visit the Friends Against Scams website.

For more information on these scams visit the National Trading Standards website or print out this handy guide below and give it to friends and family members that you feel may be vulnerable to scams.


There are simple ways of making sure you give safely to registered charities:

  • Check the charity’s name and registration number at uk/checkcharity. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered.
  • Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information – it’s ok to decide not to give on the spot. Be wary of unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of and be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them.
  • Exercise the same caution as with any other internet transaction, for example, to donate online, visit the charity’s own website and always type the website address into the browser yourself.
  • Contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to find out more about their spending. Ask a trusted friend, neighbour or relative if you are unable to research this or need a second opinion.
  • Ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company.

If in doubt about an approach, give to a charity that you have an existing relationship with.


Hampshire Alert

The communities of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight play a key role in helping to prevent and detect crime and anti-social behaviour. Improving the flow of information between the community and the police is vital to achieving their aim to work together to deter criminals and keep communities safe.

Community Messaging system

If you live or work in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight, you are invited to register to become a recipient of messages of information, crime alerts and witness appeals local to the area in which you live or work in a way that suits your needs and lifestyle by email, text or telephone. Just click to sign up.

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