CORONAVIRUS: Warwickshire residents warned of scam COVID-19 texts

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Example scam text message.

CALLOUS scammers have attempted to trick consumers out of their hard earned cash with a new con which suggests the government will pay £458 to all residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

To apply for the payment, residents are encouraged to follow a link in a series of texts where the overall objective by the scammers is to obtain personal financial details.

Following yesterday’s genuine GOV.UK national text message, ‘GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT’ scammers have begun to send bogus text messages encouraging recipients to click on links contained in the text message. One of the first states that the UK Government has issued a payment of £458 to all residents and encourages recipients to apply by following a link in the text message. Those that do place themselves at risk of theft and ID fraud. Visiting these websites may also expose your computer to malicious programmes/computer viruses.

Throughout this period, Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards is endeavouring to keep Warwickshire consumers and businesses updated on Trading Standards related Coronavirus (COVID-19) issues including scams, doorstep crime and business advice/regulations. To that end the service will be issuing messages on a daily basis, as necessary via its email alert system and social media. If you can, please help by cascading this information/guidance/advice as you see fit.

Trading standards advises consumers to:

  • Never follow links in unusual/unexpected text messages
  • Never as a result of receiving such a text message divulge any personal or financial information
  • Delete suspect text messages
  • Advice on dealing with both Spam and scam text messages from Which:https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-deal-with-spam-text-messages

Example scam text message