WITH EVERYONE staying at home at the minute there have been increasing reports of scammers calling to people’s doors, because sadly there will always be a few individuals who will try to take advantage of those in need.
Among the scams reported locally have been scammers calling to people’s homes offering Covid-19 testing. Elsewhere there have been reports of callers falsely offering to pick up shopping or supplies for those in isolation.
Local Cllr John McClaughry, who is a former police officer, urged anyone who suspected a scam to report it immediately to the PSNI.
“There will be people who use this to exploit vulnerable people, and people are even more vulnerable at the moment,” he said. “We need to reassure the public that most of these charities will not be touching money. In most cases the things will be bought and paid for and the charities will just deliver it.
“Nobody will be coming to your house asking for money. I’ve heard of people in England saying they have been sent by the council to do your shopping, all you have to do is give me your bank card and your pin number.”
There has also been an increase in reports of online and telephone scams, which police have also warned the public to be aware of.
“Scams come in all shapes and sizes, from old fashioned telephone scams to classic romance scams and, perhaps unsurprising, we hear more and more about online and phishing scams, including those linked to Covid-19 coronavirus,” said chief superintendent Simon Walls.
“While there are numerous variations, one thing’s for sure.
“These people will go to any lengths necessary, exploiting any opportunity, to take people’s money.”
Supt Walls said if an email, for example, seemed suspicious then it was right to be sceptical.
For tips on what to look out for, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040, or the non-emergency 101 number.
For more information on scams in general visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or visit ScamwiseNi on Facebook.
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