Businesses and consumers across the Falkirk area are being reminded by Falkirk Council’s Trading Standards and Corporate Fraud teams to be vigilant against scammers and fraudsters keen to take advantage of the current coronavirus situation.

Across the UK, there are a number of scams that are being used to deceive the public and businesses that are targeted through emails, door to door and texts.

These include:

  • Doorstep callers who offer to help with doing shopping or collecting prescriptions;
  • Mobile apps that falsely claim to give advice and updates on coronavirus but then lock and demand a ransom fee to reclaim the phone;
  • Online testing kits and so-called miracle cures for coronavirus that are completely bogus;
  • Impersonation of health workers doing doorstep calling claiming to offer testing;
  • Emails offering a Council tax rebate or reduction in utility bills;
  • Emails pretending to be from official channels asking employees to purchase iTunes vouchers, then to photograph the code and send on;
  • Orders for hand sanitiser, gloves and masks that never arrive.

Councillor Laura Murtagh, spokesperson for Public Protection said: “There are many fraudsters out there who are keen to exploit this situation to make financial gain. Police and other agencies are working constantly to shut these schemes down on behalf of the public and businesses. We’d urge that everyone thinks very carefully about any transaction they enter into and do some research before making a commitment. Consumers and businesses have already reported more than £1m worth of fraud as a result of the coronavirus situation and we are determined to prevent any local residents/businesses from being a victim of fraud.”

If you think you have been a victim of fraud contact Police Scotland on 101. Any scams or overpricing can reported to Trading Standards via Advice Direct Scotland or on 0808 800 9060.

More information and support is available from Action Fraud or from the Trading Standards Scotland website.