A SCAM alert has been raised over fraudsters claiming to be from the local authority and offering help with buy shopping, housing repairs and collecting prescriptions in the current crisis.
The alarm was raised by Stratford-on-Avon District Council which had been alerted to tricksters sending the letters to local households – the authority covers both Studley and Alcester.
The Council says it most certainly has not sent out a letter of this type to households.
District Leader Councillor Tony Jefferson said: “Criminals are exploiting fears about the pandemic to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends.
“These frauds try to lure you in with what look like genuine offers of help from trusted organisations.
“I can assure you the District Council is not the author of this letter circulating.
“Besides this particular letter circulating, it is likely that the number of frauds could increase as more people work from home and vulnerable and elderly people self-isolate.
“There are genuine charities providing support, but you should be vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent a charity.
“Be assured that those making contact with vulnerable people about receiving support from the local ‘shielding hub’ will be reliably identifiable and will never ask for bank details or money.
“We must all be vigilant.”
Warwickshire Shielding Hubs
The District Council and partners is offering extra help for those identified as extremely vulnerable who have no access to food and support. People in this group should call 0800 4081447 or go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirusextremelyvulnerable for more information.
Scams circulating across the country include:
Offering to do shopping for those self-isolating
Buying medical supplies online
Sending emails offering fake medical support
High return investments
Appeals to support bogus charities or those who are ill
Fake text messages from Revenue & Customs and about free school meals
How to avoid scams: Stop – taking a moment to think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.