Details of scams around the Covid-19 outbreak. There are a number of scams to be aware of. We will keep this page up to date as we are notified of new scams.
Swansea Trading Standards are warning people to be extra vigilant against a number of scams which are circulating and play on people's fears of the Coronavirus.
Update 5 October 2021
There are still a number of scams to be aware of. If you are worried about a text message, email or social media post then don't click on any of the links and report them to Action Fraud. You should never make a payment or pass on personal information through these messages.
Covid Pass scam
Text messages are being sent out telling you to apply for a covid pass and informing that you could be fined if you fail to do so.
This is a scam. These texts are being sent in a number of formats, check carefully any text you may get in relation to Covid or from the NHS.
Information on offical covid passes are available from the Welsh Government website. These passes are free.
UK Government payment scam
One scam claims to come from Swansea Council via a UK Government website, promising a payment if people fill in a range of card details, including their security code number.
It is a scam. It is not a council initiative. Do not respond to it.
Update 1 May 2020
Other coronavirus scams
Here are just some of the 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:
- Be aware of people offering miracle cures - there is currently no cure for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.
- Home decontamination services.
- People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering 'home-testing' for coronavirus.
- Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and they are just after your personal and financial details.
- There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect you from coronavirus. Follow the government advice on protecting yourself and ensure any protective products (such as hand sanitizer) are purchased from genuine companies.
- 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.
- Impersonation of officials, including HMRC and government agencies.
- Subscription and streaming service emails prompting account updates or requesting personal details.
Tips to avoid being scammed:
- 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.
- Don't assume everyone is genuine. It's okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
- If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as www.gov.uk or www.nhs.uk websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don't click on links in emails or messages.
- 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 trust.
- Protect your financial information, especially from people you don't know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.
- Be suspicious of requests for updating your account details. If someone pressures you, they are unlikely to be genuine.