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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Advice

Latest page update 27.03.20

Coronavirus is a virus that affects your lungs and airways. Find out about the symptoms of coronavirus and the steps to take to stop it spreading.
Click here to access the full guidance and advice from Age UK which is updated regularly.

We need your help

We have just launched an Urgent Appeal for support during this crisis so that we can ensure older people who are isolated during the coronavirus outbreak receive all the food and medication they need to survive. Please read more about our urgent appeal by clicking here.

 

Age UK Sheffield Services

During this Coronavirus outbreak we will be stepping up to support Sheffield’s older people in their hour of need. However, we will be unable to provide face-to-face services from our city centre office. Please call us on (0114) 250 2850 and we will do whatever we can to help you. Alternatively you can contact us via email enquiries@ageuksheffield.org.uk

We are currently assessing older people needs to work out how we can be most effective in supporting the older community who need help and support at this time.

With the government guidance changing on a daily basis we are doing all we can to plan the support that we can offer in the most efficient and effective way possible whilst taking into account the possibility of changes in guidance, and the safety of those we are supporting and of our staff and volunteers.

Our Services

Following the announcement of a social distancing policy on 16th March, here is an update on current and potential future Age UK Sheffield services.

Current services Update as of 18th March 2020
Customer first point of contact This is now a telephone-only service. The Fire Service building and our office are closed to visitors.
Information and Advice This service is now a telephone-only service. Our office building is now closed to visitors.
ILC services All face-to-face appointments are operating on a risk-assessed/mutual agreement basis
At Home services All face-to-face appointments are operating on a risk-assessed/mutual agreement basis
In Touch service All face-to-face appointments are operating on a risk-assessed/mutual agreement basis
Wellbeing Centre Closing on Friday 20th. Weekly contact calls and support will be provided
Retail shops Both of our shops are now closed. We are hoping to open an Ebay shop soon.
PKW groups and dementia cafes Suspended 
Dementia Advice Service (advice) Continuing as a telephone service/meetings by individual assessment
Dementia Advice Service (training and events) Suspended 

Volunteering to help
We are really appreciative of the many people who have got in touch offering to volunteer help.
If you are interested in volunteering to help, we are currently accepting enquiries from volunteers. If you are keen to volunteer please email us with your name, phone number location and whether or not you have access to a vehicle to enquiries@ageuksheffield.org.uk

It would also be helpful to know if you are DBS checked and if you have any particular skills or experience that may be helpful.
We are currently working on plans such as a food delivery service and we are assessing how we can best use the kind offers of volunteering support in the best way possible to support the older community of Sheffield and so we will be in touch with everyone when we have more information on this. 

COVID-19 Scams: Examples to be aware of

Background

There continues to be an emerging trend of criminals taking advantage of the increasing concern around the spread of COVID-19 across the world. The below list provides a number of examples of COVID-19 scams gathered from law enforcement and Interpol. It may be helpful to read through the examples and call friends/relatives who may be vulnerable to such scams to discuss these with them so that they are aware of the issue and ensure they feel able to contact a trusted person if they are worried or have any questions about being a victim of a scam.

Doorstep scams

There are reports of cold callers posing as good Samaritans in order to help those in isolation with things like buying shopping and then keeping the money and reports of distraction burglary where people attempt to gain entry with a view to burgling the home. Vulnerable individuals including older people have been specifically targeted. This is theft and should be reported to the police. 

Bogus websites / online marketplaces

Scammers taking advantage of the COVID-19 fear associated with high demands and shortages of face and surgical masks. They create and set up fraudulent and bogus websites, e-commerce platforms and social media accounts pretending to sell and deliver face and surgical masks. 

Scammers may use the name of legitimate companies to give the illusion of authenticity. However, after the victim makes payment, the scammers vanish and the masks are not delivered. There have also been cases where victims are directed to collect the paid face masks from clinics, only for the victims to be informed that no such arrangements were made. 

Telephone deception

In this example, older people have been contacted by the fraudsters who pretend to be a relative currently being treated in hospital after contracting COVID-19. In some cases, the fraudster will impersonate a doctor. Following this, the victims are asked to pay for the costs of the medical treatment urgently by transferring money or handing over cash or other valuables to “hospital representatives” in person.

A similar MO is where victims receive calls from the fraudster claiming to be a health official. They are told that they need to provide personal or financial information for “contact tracing” in order to identify anyone who may have been in close contact with infected individuals. 

Phishing

Fraudsters are sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details. 

Some of the tactics that have been identified from victim reports, includes fraudsters claiming to be from research organisation’s affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) contacting potential victims over email. They claim to be able to provide the recipient with a list of coronavirus infected people in their area. In order to access this information, the victim needs to click on a link, which leads to a malicious website, or is asked to make a payment in Bitcoin.

There have been additional reports of fraudsters sending out malicious links and documents that claim to contain information on how to protect them from the spread of COVID-19. Some of these emails urge recipients to open a link or page that allegedly contains additional important information. 

To open such a page, recipients are asked to log-in with their email address and password. By doing so, criminals are able to install malware into the recipient’s device and steal money or sensitive information. Such letters and emails claim to have been sent by prominent organisations, such as the World Health Organization. Emails such as this should never be clicked on. If it looks suspicious, don’t click on it.