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Corona virus scams alert

Friends agains scams

Published on 25 March 2020 08:24 PM

NEW - Free online 20 minute training session to help you take a stand against scams.

Here are just some of the Corona virus scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:

  • Northumbria Police report that there is a new coronavirus-themed phishing campaign named "King Engine", which uses the Covid-19 scare to compromise the victim's device. Attackers are sending emails that contain the recipient's coronavirus test result in an attachment, which is just a lure to convince the victim to open the attachment. 
  • Be aware of people offering miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.
  • Home cleaning services
  • People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering 'home-testing' for coronavirus - this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy.
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and they are just after your personal and bank details.
  • There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect you or cure coronavirus. These will not help and are designed to take your money.
  • There are new mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus but instead, they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.
  • People offering to do your shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.
  • A new phishing campaign has been discovered impersonating a notification from DocuSign in order to steal Microsoft O365 credentials from employees.
  • An EE themed phishing scam targeting corporate executives encourages victims to click a link for billing information which prompts the theft of login and card credentials.
  • Beware of an E-mail asking if people want to apply for Amazon Grant Relief Fund for £1,000. This fund is claiming to be administered by the Emergency Assistance Foundation Inc. and is targeting individuals in self isolation caused by the covered 19 outbreak. Recipients are asked to click on a link and then their credentials are stolen.
  • Watch out for an Email informing people that they have missed a scheduled zoom meeting, getting them to click on a link for more details and to view a recording of the meeting. This then leads to a fake Microsoft page and credentials stolen.
  • E-mails taking advantage of the financial downturn and encouraging people to invest in Bitcoin, takes people to a website explaining Bitcoin and then steals your credentials.
  • Researchers claiming to be from A-Z pharmaceuticals are trying to get people to invest due to the covid-19 outbreak to manufacture cancer treatments, related medication and an animal vaccine saying that the investor will receive a significant share of the profits.
  • Fake Government emails are circulating that claim to help individuals on benefits or a low income. The heading of the email reads ‘online application – covid 19’, you are getting a council tax reduction of £385.55. Recipients are asked to click on the link to receive this benefit.
  • LATEST NEWS from Northumbria Police:
    There is a scam going around on social media where they send the victim a text message saying they have been seen out of their house on more than one occasion, which has resulted in them being fined £35. There is a link for the victim to click where they can enter their cards details.
    The scammer has sent a previous message which makes it appear to be from so looks makes it look legit???
    Please beware and do not fall for this one

NHS Test and Trace - Contact tracers will NEVER:

  • Ask you for any form of payment
  • Ask you for any passwords or PINS
  • Ask any details about your bank account
  • Ask you to download anything
  • Ask you to hand over control of your PC
  • Send someone to your home

Tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
  • Take your time; don’t be rushed.
  • If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of helps if you are unsure.
  • If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as or websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don’t click on links in emails.
  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.
  • Know who you’re dealing with - if you need help, talk to someone you know or get in touch with your local Council on the numbers below.
  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don’t know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.

Contact information:

  • If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and if you need advice, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999.
  • Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.

To learn more about different types of scams and how to protect yourself and others, visit and complete the free online training.

Why not become a Scam Marshal? A Scam Marshal is any resident in the UK who has been targeted by a scam and now wants to fight back and take a stand against scams. Scam Marshals do this by sharing their own experiences, helping others to report and recognise scams and sending any scam mail that they receive to the National Trading Standards Scams Team so that it can be utilised as evidence in future investigative and enforcement work. Visit for more information and to sign up.


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