COVID-19 has brought communities together, supporting each other and taking care of the vulnerable. However, it has also meant we have seen a rise in fraud and scams as there are people taking advantage of those who are vulnerable.
It’s important that you remain vigilant and consider the tips below to prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud or a scam whilst receiving help during the COVID-19 crisis.
- If possible, only accept help from those close to you, such as a trusted family member, friend, neighbour or support organisation.
- If you are relying on support from a community volunteer or if a member of an organisation offers help, ask for a form of ID to confirm who they are when they come to your house.
- Do not hand over your payment card to anyone if it can be avoided. Try and pay cash when they return with your groceries.
- Ask for a receipt to confirm how much you are paying for your groceries before handing over any money, to make sure you are paying for what you have been brought.
- Do not let anyone in your home, make sure anything brought to you is left on the doorstep or somewhere safe where you can collect it.
- If you are due an emergency repair and it is safe for a member of Trivallis staff to enter your home, then they will always be carrying identification. If in doubt, always ask to see an I.D badge.
Phone and Online
- If you receive a phone call or text message, regarding coronavirus, from the Government, HMRC, a health organisation or charity, check that it is legitimate as there are many impersonation calls and messages circulating.
- Like with a phone call or text message, be wary of the emails you may receive, regarding COIVD-19. Do not click on the links or open the attachments of any email you think is suspicious.
- Do not give out any financial or personal information unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with.
- There are currently several health scams claiming to be health organisations such as Public Health Wales or the NHS and asking for money in return for information. These public service organisations make their information available for free to everyone and would never charge you money, be aware.
- If you are buying items online, such as hand sanitizer, face masks, toilet paper or groceries, look for names you can trust, e.g larger supermarket stores. If you are buying from other smaller websites, look at reviews and what items they are selling at what price. If the reviews aren’t positive and they are selling under-priced/overpriced items, be vigilant.
- There are many fake news stories online surrounding coronavirus, it is important to check that what you are reading is correct. You can rely on key sources such as GOV.UK, Public Health Wales and the NHS website for trusted information.
- There are many scams circulating surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. In Wales, the vaccine will only be available through your NHS Local Health Board. It will be free and you will be contacted when it is your turn. You can read more information around COVID-19 vaccine scams, here. Remember to stay vigilant.
If you need more information or advice on fraud and scams or would like to discuss with someone, there are resources and services below:
If you need support with your finances or rent during the COVID-19 outbreak, you can find more information on how Trivallis can support you by visiting our dedicated support page, here.