Beware of Covid-19 Doorstep Caller Scams

CRIMINALS are using the coronavirus crisis to commit doorstep crime Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning in an alert issued on Thursday 26 March 2020.

Reports have emerged of people receiving unexpected doorstep visits from individuals offering to to buy or collect shopping on behalf of those who are self isolating. The thieves then take cash and do not return.

Residents are also advised to beware of rogue traders offering “doorstep cleansing services’ that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Fake sanitisers, face masks and Cover-19 swabbing kits are also being sold door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe.

Warwickshire Trading Standards advise:

  • DO NOT buy goods or services from unexpected and and unknown doorstep callers.
  • DO NOT reveal any sensitive information such as your bank card PIN number to any doorstep caller.

Please report any suspicious doorstep visits or any type of scam to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. Citizens Advice can provide telephone support and advice. They will also alert Warwickshire Trading Standards Service who can provide additional advice.

Courier Scam in Kenilworth using Covid-19 Situation

Warwickshire Police and Kenilworth’s Safer Neighbourhood Team are warning everyone to remain vigilant for themselves and others, particularly the vulnerable and elderly, after criminals tricked and stole thousands of pounds from a Kenilworth resident using the current Covid-19 emergency as a scam on Monday 23 March 2020. 

A resident at Rounds Hill in Kenilworth was contacted by telephone, the caller display showed “withheld number”. The offenders on the telephone call said they were police officers and wanted to do a ‘check’ concerning fraud.

The offenders then persuaded the householder into withdrawing £8000 from their bank account. The offenders told the householder to inform bank staff, if they questioned the withdrawal, to say that the money was to be given to a relative who is in self-isolation due to the Covid-19 emergency.

The description of the offender who then came and collected the money is female, 5″2, medium build with dark hair.

This is incident 267 of 23 March 2020

ADVICE FROM WARWICKSHIRE POLICE

  • Police Officers DO NOT call residents by telephone about bank/money fraud and indeed DO NOT call residents randomly. PUT THE PHONE DOWN if you receive such a call
  • NEVER withdraw money from your bank account on the advice of someone you do not personally know – THERE ARE NO CIRCUMSTANCES that make such a request legitimate.
  • NEVER hand over money or agree for someone to visit your address to pick up your bank/credit cards or to hand over money – POLICE OFFICERS never collect such things and anyone else that you don’t know who seeks to do so IS A CRIMINAL.
  • NEVER give you bank details or PIN details to anyone else, ANY phone call or caller at a door that seeks this information IS NOT GENUINE however plausible them might seem to be.
  • DO NOT ring a telephone number that any such caller gives you to check they are genuine and always make sure that you have a dialling tone when you pick your phone back up after receiving such a call – if you have not got a dial tone replace the receiver several times to clear the line.
  • If you receive any such then call Warwickshire Police on 101.
  • If you look after an elderly or vulnerable person please make sure they are made aware and take all appropriate steps to protect them from receiving these type of callers.

Warning – Covid19 Fraudsters operating

Kenilworth Watch, Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire County Council are jointly warning residents that fraudsters are taking advantage of the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic to scam vulnerable people.

Since February 2020 there have been 21 reports of fraud where the Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800K. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers.

Some of the scam tactics have included: 

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

ADVICE

DO NOT OPEN SUSPICIOUS EMAILS (however plausible they appear) AND DO NOT CLICK ON/OPEN ATTACHMENTS

Impersonating the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Fraudsters 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.

ADVICE

DO NOT CLICK ON/OPEN ATTACHMENTS

Selling unapproved and falsely branded products, (for example teas and essential oils), claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. There are currently no approved vaccines or drugs available to prevent or treat the disease.

ADVICE

DO NOT BUY ANY SUCH PRODUCTS The NHS treat everyone in the UK at the point of need. If you are feeling unwell follow advice at https://www.nhs.uk or contact the NHS on 111

Creating malicious web pages with coronavirus based domain names. These encourage Internet users to visit them, putting their computers at risk of viruses. Some are attempting to mimic genuine sources of information.

ADVICE

AVOID PAGES ON THE INTERNET WITH CORONA BASED NAMES

Cold calling residents offering ‘safe’ investments following falling share prices.

ADVICE

DO NOT DEAL WITH DOORSTEP OR COLD CALLERS

Taking advantage of vulnerable older people who are attempting to self-isolate. This may include offering to fetch shopping or carry out all household chores in return for cash or for divulging bank details.

ADVICE

DO NOT HAND OVER CASH OR PROVIDE BANK DETAILS TO ANYONE YOU DON’T KNOW

A scheme to support members of the Kenilworth community through the Covid19 event is being put in place. We hope to circulate details of the scheme once the organisers have provided the details to us.

ADVICE

KENILWORTH WATCH WILL ADVISE OF THE SUPPORT SCHEME ONCE WE HAVE THE DETAILS

General Advice to residents:

Watch out for scam messages: Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and phone calls that ask for your personal or financial details. 

Shopping online: If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases. For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely 

Protect your devices from the latest threats: Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats. For information on how to update your devices, please visit: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices 

Keep up with all the latest help, advice and information at: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus

Burglary – Kenilworth

Please be aware that between 1700hrs on Sunday 15 March and 1600hrs on Monday 16 March 2020 offenders have accessed the garden of a property at Brookside Avenue, Kenilworth through a side gate. The offenders have then smashed the rear door and entered the property. Once inside the property offenders have made an untidy search. It is not clear at this stage what items have been stolen.


This is incident 294 of 16 March 2020


If you think you may have seen or heard of anything suspicious or have any information about this incident then please contact Warwickshire Police on 101 or alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Spate of overnight thefts from vans – Kenilworth

Kenilworth Safer Neighbourhood Team are advising owners of all vans and commercial vehicles to take all reasonable steps to protect their vehicles from attack overnight while parked outside home addresses. 

The warning comes after a spate of attacks overnight between Monday 2 March and Tuesday 3 March 2020 across Kenilworth.

Three commercial vehicles (vans) have been broken into with the contents stolen.


One van was parked on a drive at Roseland Road, offenders stole the contents of the van being power and construction type tools.


This is incident 48 of 3 March 2020


A second van was broken into at Dudley Road between 21.30hrs on 2 March and 0630hrs on 3 March 2020. Offenders attacked and cut into the passenger side of the van and stole a range of power tools and cordless tools and cordless tool batteries.


This is incident 112 of 3 March 2020


At approximately 0220hrs on Tuesday 3 March 2020 offenders attacked a third van parked at Fishponds Road. The rear doors of the van were cut and a number of power and cordless tools were stolen.


This is incident 123 of 3 March 2020


If you think you may have seen or heard anything suspicious or have any information about these incidents then please contact Warwickshire Police on 101 or alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111