Police are reminding Sussex residents to stay on the alert as reports come in from elsewhere across the country of frauds or attempts related to the current Covid-19 coronavirus issue. Only one report has so far been made to Sussex Police, of a suspicious phone call that went no further thanks to the alertness of the resident.
The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.
There have also been over 200 reports of coronavirus-themed ‘phishing’ emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details. You can protect yourself by:
- not clicking on the links or attachments in suspicious emails
- carrying out some research first, and asking a friend or family member for advice before completing an online purchase if you’re buying from a company or person you don’t know and trust.
- always installing the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats
The National Cyber security Centre offers advice on looking after your devices.
Sussex Police’s Operation Signature offers further information on how to keep yourself safe from unwanted callers and other approaches.
Stop loan sharks helpline service
England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognise that this period may be one of increased financial pressure for some people. The Team is fully committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan sharks) do not take advantage and profit from other people’s hardship.
The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open and fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage not only victims but friends, family members and the wider community to come forward if they suspect someone is suffering at the hands of loan sharks.