Falkirk residents urge to be alert for Covid-19 scams

From fake hand sanitisers to dodgy emails, fraudsters are out in force during the coronavirus crisis with scams that are easy to fall for.

By Kirsty Paterson
Saturday, 2nd May 2020, 7:30 am

That’s the warning for Falkirk residents from Falkirk Council and Police Scotland, who say they are working to combat clever, convincing frauds that are leaving people out of pocket.

Scams include: selling fake Covid-19 testing kits and hand sanitiser and putting out fake emails and texts on behalf of everything from banks and building societies to supermarkets and Netflix.

They also want people to look out for social media quizzes that gather personal information.

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People are even trying to scam others with offers of fake hand sanitiser

Many of the texts and emails being sent out will supposedly from the government or HMRC – and they can be very convincing.

Councillor Laura Murtagh, spokesperson for Public Protection said: “Even in these very difficult times, criminals are targeting our communities with clever and believable scams.

“We’re urging everyone just to take time to look at anything they receive very carefully and to challenge anyone to give full and accurate information about what is being offered.”

“We’ve pulled together some helpful advice that you can use to make up your own mind.”

Falkirk Council’s advice is:Only provide organisations that you trust and have given consent to, your personal or financial details.

Use the secure payment method recommended by reputable online retailers and auction sites.

Be suspicious of any “too good to be true” offers or prices.

Question uninvited approaches and contact companies directly using a known email or phone number.

Avoid clicking on links within text messages and always log into your bank account to update your information or make any legitimate payments. Report suspected spam texts to your mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726.

Only give out your personal or financial information to services you have consented to and are expecting to be contacted by.

Don’t give anyone remote access to your computer following a cold call or unsolicited text.

Consumers can check hi-risk purchases on eBay using this free tool https://vistalworks.com/checker which helps inform them if a product is likely to be a fake.

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