Since March 1,100 people have been scammed across the county and each of them has lost an average of £2000.
Most of them were scammed during online shopping, with many ordering protective face masks, hand sanitiser, Covid-19 testing kits, and other products, which have never arrived.
Other frequently reported scams include fake adverts for vehicles or puppies for sale, where the scammer has used the outbreak as a way of persuading the victim to make a payment in advance – the car/puppy are never provided. In these cases, scammers have also used spoof PayPal links for the payment.
Action Fraud are also seeing a large number of fake TV Licensing emails where there have been minor changes to the messaging and links, with some including a COVID-19 related hook. The emails claim that the recipient’s direct debit has failed and that they need to pay in order to avoid prosecution. These emails display the subject header “We couldn’t process the latest payment from your Debit Card – COVID19 Personalized Offer: You are be eligible for a 1 x 6 months of free TV Licence”.