Hello! We have heard reports of criminals using the COVID-19 outbreak to scam people in some parts of the UK. Here’s some advice to help prevent this happening in Beer.
- Try to get help with your shopping, banking, prescriptions and dog walking from trusted friends, family, neighbours, or ask our Beer Action Group coordinators and volunteers.
- Our genuine Beer volunteers all have identity cards and won’t mind giving you information to carefully check who they are. To check authenticity call Annie Boalch on 01297 21305;
- Say “no” to criminals asking to come into your home to check your temperature, to take swaps, or to vaccinate you, even if they claim to be from the Red Cross or NHS;
- Ask for ID if you don’t recognise someone knocking on your door, even if they are offering help such as shopping, cleaning or care. Challenge their requests for cash, bank cards and pin numbers.
- If anyone is behaving in a pushy way, do not hesitate to ask for help from neighbours or another trusted person, or call 999 and ask for the police.
- Be aware of scam callers aiming to get your personal information or bank details:
- Callers may claim to be from the police, HMRC, or perhaps from your bank or Amazon;
- Refuse calls offering COVID-19 loans or investment opportunities;
- Reject calls from OFCOM or BT claiming your internet needs to be slowed down due to COVID-19. This is a scam.
- Do not respond to fake text messages:
- Ignore texts pretending to be from ‘UKGOV’ fining you for going outside during lockdown;
- Ignore texts pretending to be from HMRC offering COVID-19 goodwill money or tax rebates.
- Beware of emails offering Coronavirus tests, cures or vaccines – these are fake;
- Do not open unsolicited emails offering COVID-19 updates or lists of infected people in your area. These may claim to be from the WHO, NHS, or CDC. Do not click on links in these emails;
- Be suspicious of emails offering free school meal payments in return for bank details (check these out with your school);
- Avoid online shopping scams such as very expensive or fake equipment (hand gel and masks etc). Some orders never arrive, so only shop from legitimate businesses that you recognise;
- If you donate to a COVID-19 charity, check it is registered with the Charity Commission.
If in doubt, please don’t hesitate to ask someone you trust. You can also contact BAG’s Nick Pearce on 07766 056621 or Helena Whitten on 01297 20890 (or 07597 133608).
If you think you have been scammed for money, call your bank immediately, and also report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Please don’t worry, our little village of Beer is a very safe place to live, and if you need us, BAG is here to help you!