The Police Service of Northern Ireland are getting a number of reports about scams involving coronavirus. These include offers to test for the virus and fake emails purporting to give advice from reputable bodies.
These are unprecedented times for us all. It’s important we use this as an opportunity to look out, support and protect each other! It should not be used as an opportunity to take advantage of people’s fears.
Please share this message with your family, friends, peer groups and local communities.
Here are some useful websites
Some tips and examples
Be vigilant but do let people you know and trust help you
Do not pay for items upfront – wait until you receive them
If you are concerned with anyone calling, seek help from an official source such as the PSNI or a registered charityRing-you can phone Quick Check on the police non-emergency telephone number 101. The call will be answered personally and promptly by a trained operator.
Remember your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account.
Reports from the public have already included online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived and a number of cases have been identified where fake testing kits have been offered for sale.
Criminals are also using Government branding to try to trick people, including reports of using HMRC branding to make spurious offers of financial support through unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages.
This situation is likely to continue, with criminals looking to exploit further consequences of the pandemic, such as exploiting financial concerns to ask for upfront fees for bogus loans, offering high-return investment scams, or targeting pensions
Warning about false Danske bank messages
We are aware of a rumour currently circulating via WhatsApp, SMS and social media which claims that Danske Bank customers are being targeted by a particular text message (smishing) scam. The content of this message is false.
However, smishing scams are common. Smishing is just the SMS version of phishing scams. Instead of a scam email, you get a scam text message on your smartphone.
Do not click on the links or attachments in any suspicious emails or texts, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details. It’s important to remember that your bank would never ask you to move money out of your account, or contact you out of the blue and ask for details such as your full banking password or PIN.”
Anyone who has divulged information after receiving this type of message should contact their Bank immediately.
Report any scams to Action Fraud
Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting unit.
They offer a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.
Report fraud to Action Fraud and receive a police crime reference number. Action Fraud is not an emergency service – dial 999 if you are in immediate danger.
- report online at Action Fraud(external link opens in a new window / tab)
- telephone – Action Fraud 0300 123 2040
If you receive a scam email message or a computer virus, but you haven’t lost any money you can report it for information purposes, to Action Fraud.