The coronavirus pandemic means scammers are finding new ways to make money and prey on people’s worries. 

More people are facing issues - from employment and debt, to housing and health - resulting in more people being in vulnerable situations. Added to this, the overall heightened uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic is making everyone more vulnerable and more likely to fall victim to a scam.

We are Citizens Advice highlights 5 ways to avoid online coronavirus scams.

Recent scams relating to coronavirus include:

  • the sale of fake medical kits
  • online shopping scams
  • spoof texts and emails appearing to be from government departments 
  • Voucher scams

For more information, see the latest post on 4 coronavirus scams to be aware of.

This thread on Twitter from @CitizensAdvice highlights the key #CoronaVirusScams to look out for bit.ly/2XFrssd.

Be careful if:   

  • something has come out of the blue or from someone you don’t know   
  • It sounds out of the ordinary — like you’ve won the lottery   
  • you’re asked to pay for something in advance — especially by bank transfer or gift vouchers   
  • you’re asked for personal information, like your bank details   
  • you’re being urged to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it or talk to family and friends   
  • you’re asked to phone an expensive number 

If you think someone might be trying to scam you, make sure you take the time to get advice.  It’s also important to report scams or suspected scams to Action Fraud.

If you suspect something is a scam or have been affected by a scam, visit the Citizens Advice website for information and advice, and help with what to do next.

You can get help and advice with online scams from our scams advisers through the Citizens Advice Scams Action Service:

Phone 0808 250 5050 Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm, 

or online at citizensadvice.org.uk/ScamsAction

You can also get free confidential advice from Citizens Advice Cheshire West Owing to the coronavirus pandemic our offices are closed for face to face services, however our phone lines remain open.  Our Adviceline number is 0344 576 6111 and we’re available 09:00 - 16:00 Monday to Friday, and by email and webchat accessed through the Citizens Advice website.  Please click on this link for up to date information on our services.

Find out about recent scams

Coming up

Scams Awareness Campaign 15 - 28 June 2020 

This year’s annual campaign will be focusing on raising awareness of the scams that have emerged as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.  

Scams are crimes that can happen to anyone and that we can all take a stand to help stop them. There are actions we can all take to report them, share stories and raise awareness of scams to safeguard ourselves and others.

Our Scams Awareness campaign runs from 15 - 28 June 2020.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for a fortnight of top tips on how to protect yourself, family and friends against scams.