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Preston homeowners and businesses warned about coronavirus fraud scams

Posted on - 9th April, 2020 - 4:19pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Crime, Preston News
Woman holding mobile phone Pic: Pixabay
Many of the scams are related to online messages or through chat services like WhatsApp Pic: Pixabay

Coronavirus-related tricksters are attempting to take advantage of the city’s most vulnerable during the pandemic.

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Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards say there is an increased risk from scams in relation to coronavirus.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grunshaw, is urging Preston residents to be on their guard.

It comes as Action Fraud said there had been a 400 per cent increased in Covid-19 related fraud reports in March.

Among the tactics used by fraudsters include encouraging donations to bogus organisations, fake tax refunds or demands of payments for a made-up fine.

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Commissioner Grunshaw said: “Reports that scammers are taking advantage of the most vulnerable in our society who are most impacted by the unprecedented situation is disgusting and I can assure the public that officers continue to work around the clock to protect people and remove criminals from our streets.

“My Be Cyber Wise campaign was launched to offer advice and support to those most likely to be targeted by online scammers, with older people and smaller businesses most at risk.

“This is often the case with these scams and we know that attempts to commit fraud unrelated to the current pandemic are also taking place.

“Tackling fraud is not something that policing can tackle alone with prevention being absolutely crucial in stopping fraudsters in their tracks. Tackling crime and supporting victims and those most vulnerable are key priorities in my Police and Crime Plan, with Lancashire Victim Services continuing to offer vital support to those who need it the most.”

Read more: Preston firms to receive emergency government funding this week

Businesses are also being warned about being targeted due to remote working and having lower staffing levels.

Has your business been targeted? Have you been targeted by a coronavirus-related scam? Let us know in the comments below or email contactus@blogpreston.co.uk

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