Welsh Labour MP for Ogmore, Chris Elmore, is urging constituents to remain vigilant against the spike in scams which have appeared during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the lockdown began, Chris has been sharing information with constituents about how to be scam aware via his social media feeds. Friends Against Scams, run by Trading Standards, has warned that “unscrupulous criminals” are “exploiting fears about COVID-19” to prey on members of the public.
Friends Against Scams have outlined that there are currently seven key types of scams they are concerned have increased during this period of uncertainty:
· Doorstep scams
· Online scams (email phishing, fake online resources, etc.)
· Refund scams
· Counterfeit goods
· Telephone scams
· Donation scams (particularly related to COVID-19 vaccines)
· Loan sharks
Chris has repeatedly called for tackling scams to become a strategic policing priority – the need for which has been further underlined by the current increase in economic fraud reported.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“Even before this crisis, the public were more likely to be targeted by a scam than any other type of crime. Since the pandemic began, I’ve received startling reports of increasingly sophisticated techniques being used to help criminals cash in on people’s misfortune. From bogus council tax reductions, to more traditional banking scams, to worrying reports of activity stemming from the dark web, the need to be vigilant has never been clearer.
“I would urge Ogmore constituents to follow the advice from consumer group Which? who helpfully signpost the best organisations to contact if you come across a communication which you believe is a scam.
“It’s important to remember: if you’re ever unsure, always double check before opening a communication or revealing any personal information.”
The latest advice from Which? on where to report fraudulent activity is available via: which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-report-a-scam.