South Yorkshire Police warn of fraudsters using coronavirus for criminal gain

South Yorkshire Police has issued a warning about fraudsters using coronavirus for criminal gain.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 3:20 pm

The force is urging residents to be on their guard against scams while the UK is in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said: “At challenging times like this, we see the community spirit of South Yorkshire people demonstrated in many ways.

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Police are warning of fraudsters using coronavirus for criminal gain

“We know that groups are setting up all over the county to offer support to people who are isolating. Whilst in the vast majority of these cases, the individuals will be well intentioned, there may be some who see this as an opportunity for their own criminal gain.

“People carrying out shopping on behalf of you, or a loved one, will at some point need to be paid. If you give them cash, how do you know they will come back with the goods? If you give them your bank cards, they have access to all of your funds.”

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The force said Action Fraud and Age UK have offered some tips on how to ‘protect yourself and your loved ones if someone comes to your door offering help’.

The statement continuedL “Never do anything you don’t want to or make any decisions on the spot“Check for ID but remember most of these are community volunteers so wouldn’t necessarily have ID. There is no way of knowing whether they are legitimate“Ask someone you trust for a second opinion, or ask them if they can provide the support you need.“If they ask for your card or your pin, remember this is very personal information which should not be shared“If you come across a scam, share your experience with others if possible to prevent them from being scammed.

“Doorstep fraud is a crime. It happens to a wide range of people with all sorts of backgrounds. Please report it if it happens to you.”

South Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable, Stephen Watson, has said the force will continue to operate while the UK is fighting Covid-19.

Anyone with information about fraudsters should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.