Council warning residents to be on their guard against scammers

30/03/2020, PR-9362

Wakefield Council is warning residents about scammers who are taking advantage of the situation created by the coronavirus outbreak.

Scams identified across the region include targeting older people at their homes and offering to do their shopping, but taking the money without returning, as well as people selling fake – and potentially dangerous – sanitisers, face masks and swabbing kits on doorsteps and online.

They have also included Whatsapp messages asking people for bank details if their son or daughter receives free school meals.

The Council is asking residents to be extra vigilant and also to look out for and warn older and more vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.

Andrew Balchin, Wakefield Council’s Acting Chief Executive, said: “It is very upsetting to think that people are using this already incredibly difficult situation to target those that are more vulnerable.

“However, we can all help keep each other safe by keeping in contact and warning others about the dangers. Also, basic things such as asking for ID from anyone claiming to be from a charity or never giving out your bank details can save someone from being scammed.

“Please spread the message and help to keep us all safe.”

National Trading Standards has issued a resource pack for those looking to educate themselves on how to protect against heartless criminals looking to make money from people’s vulnerability. You can find it at https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/

If you or someone you know has been a targeted by a scam you should report it to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 2040. For advice and information on how to check if something might be a scam, visit: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/

The Twitter and Facebook accounts of National Trading Standards, SAFER (Scams and Fraud Education For Residents) and Action Fraud are also being updated regularly.

Wakefield city centre