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These are the coronavirus scams to watch out for in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 18:56 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:10 23 March 2020

People are being advised to be alert for scams linked to coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic in Suffolk.  Picture: GETTY IMAGES

People are being advised to be alert for scams linked to coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic in Suffolk. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Nicolas Herrbach

Suffolk homes have been warned to keep an eye out for a number of scams from people trying to take advantage of the coronavirus situation.

Suffolk Trading Standards said that while most people offering help and support were genuine, there were a small number of cons attempting to take advantage of people.

According to Trading Standards, it has received several reports in the county of people pretending to be from the British Red Cross knocking on doors of older and vulnerable residents.

MORE: What is a ‘key worker’ during the coronavirus pandemic?

A spokesman said: “There have been reports in Suffolk of people pretending to be from the British Red Cross, knocking on the doors of elderly and vulnerable individuals, taking their money to do shopping and then not returning.

“There have also been reports that cards are being put through the doors with the British Red Cross branding, offering help.

“British Red Cross are NOT utilising a postcard system currently in connection to COVID-19 and any distribution of these cards locally needs to be reported to us via 0808 223 1133.”

Another scam also reported includes phone calls from people purporting to be from Southern Electric offering credit to help people through the coronavirus crisis if they can collect a £520 cash payment.

MORE: Bookmark the EADT coronavirus page for the latest updates

Elsewhere, Trading Standards said it has been alerted to instances of individuals and some businesses exploiting the situation by selling products at inflated prices.

A spokesman said: “Although this does not breach any regulations that Trading Standards cover, the Competition and Markets Authority [CMA] are keen to receive reports.

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“The CMA wants to ensure that traders do not exploit the current situation to take advantage of people.

“We urge retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus outbreak and not to make misleading claims or charge vastly inflated prices.

“We also remind members of the public that these obligations may apply to them too if they resell goods, for example on online marketplaces.”

Alongside these latest examples, Trading Standards said that people should be wary of anyone claiming that they need to move funds out of their bank account, and similar scams which still happen.

Since February, the National Fraud and Intelligence Bureau identified 21 victims who had been scammed out of more than £800,000 collectively – all linked to coronavirus.

Some of those include the sale of fraudulent health products which claim to cure the disease, while websites have also been established which claim to sell face masks.

Phishing emails have also been reported which are impersonating the World Health Organisation.

To report a retailer or individual to the CMA email general.enquiries@cma.gov.uk.

To report anything suspicious to Trading Standards call 0808 223 1133 or Suffolk police on 101.

Stay up to date with all the coronavirus updates in Suffolk on Facebook here.


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