It is important not to let the criminals rush or panic you into making a decision that you later come to regret, that is the message from Halton Council to combat pandemic fraudsters.
With fake news articles on the internet promoting remedies, cures and false advice around coronavirus, it’s also important to only share articles from trustworthy sources.
If you are in any doubt, then visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.who.int/ for updates and information. The latest rules around the easing of restrictions is always on https://hbcnewsroom.co.uk/
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think: it could protect you and your money.
Always follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and Stop, Challenge, Protect when being asked for your money or information.
Halton Council has put out warnings after reports criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to target victims online, through impersonation scams, investment scams and romance fraud.
It comes after watchdog UK Finance called for new legislation to make online platforms responsible for taking down fraudulent content and better protect consumers from these scams.
In 2020, Authorised Push Payment (APP)3 fraud losses amounted to £479 million, up five per cent on the previous year.
Banks and other finance providers were able to return £206.9 million of the losses from APP fraud to victims, over three quarters more than the sum returned in 2019.
Almost £7 in every £10 of attempted unauthorised fraud3 was blocked by the banking industry last year. Unauthorised fraud fell by five per cent to £783.8 million in 2020, with the banking industry stopping £1.6 billion of losses.
A Halton Borough Council Trading Standards Spokesman said: “Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
“Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
“Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.”
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of our specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.