Police issue warning following reports of coronavirus scams

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Police are encouraging people to exercise caution following the rise of scams in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Fraudsters are taking advantage of the panic caused by COVID-19 to dupe vulnerable people, utilising a variety of methods that range from phishing emails to visiting premises posing as salespeople.

There have also been reports of scammers pretending to be from charities.

Greater Manchester Police have attempted to raise awareness of this criminal activity by sharing information from Action Fraud, who posted a warning on their Facebook page earlier this week.

Action Fraud stated: "Fraudsters may use the fact more people are staying at home, as an opportunity to operate doorstep scams.

"Remember, someone posing as a good samaritan and offering to help those in isolation with things like buying shopping, then keeping the money, is committing theft. This should be reported to local police."

The post also includes a link offering advice on how to protect yourself from scams, which you can view here.

Fraudsters may use the fact more people are staying at home, as an opportunity to operate doorstep scams. Our video with...

Posted by Action Fraud on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Fraudulent activity has also been found on online marketplaces, with non-existent testing kits, masks and household essentials being 'advertised' for high prices.

Testing kits are not currently being offered to the wider public, so if you receive a visit from someone peddling these fake items, the advice is to call 999.

Report any suspicious text messages - which may claim to be from the World Health Organisation or a coronavirus support charity - to your network provider.

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