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Coronavirus scams – How to spot and avoid

Scams can take many forms, and some can be very sophisticated and seem trustworthy, so we ask our residents to be extra cautious.

Coronavirus phishing scams

Phishing is a type of online scam in which an email or text message is sent in an attempt to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames, and financial information. They usually disguise themselves to look like they have come from a legitimate organisation.

Free school meals

Parents have been sent an email that reads: 'As schools will be closing, if you're entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we'll make sure you're supported'. The Department of Education have confirmed this is a scam email and not official.

Fake lockdown fines

This scam takes the form of a text message that claims your movements have been monitored through your phone, and that you must pay a fine by going online via a link they have sent you. Do not click or tap any links these messages ask you to, it is a way to steal the payment details of users.

The 'infection list' scam 

An email is going around from a supposed research group mimicking the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The message claims to provide a list of local infections, however, if you want to access it they must click on a sensitive information stealing link or make a payment to an e-currency Bitcoin account.

The 'track and trace' scam

Some people are recieving phone calls from  scammers that are pretnending to be from the new 'track and trace' service, they say you have been in contact with an infected person, and need to provide card details to pay for a COVID-19 test. This is not true, the 'track and trace' service will never ask for financial information.

Anyone contacted by these scanners should make a note of the number calling them, put down the phone and report such calls to Action Fraud External Hyperlink or by Telephone: 0300 123 2040

Fake and counterfeit products

Bogus websites and fake products

Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. Products can also be sold online and door-to-door, but never appear once the money has been taken.

Doorstep coronavirus scams

Charity help

While there are genuine groups of volunteers providing help to Fareham residents during self-isolation, there have been reports of criminals cold calling at homes and offering to go to the shops for them, taking their money, or in some cases their bank cards, and not returning.

The groups associated with Fareham Borough Council are: Acts of Kindness, Community First, One Community and Waypoint Church. You should be extra vigilant and ask for ID from anyone claiming to represent one of these groups.

Coronavirus doorstop test

Criminals may be calling at people's homes offering to test them for COVID-19. This is a scam by people who are trying to gain access to your home – do not let them in, and then contact the police. There is no testing being carried out in people's homes.

Coronavirus driveway cleaning

Some criminals are offering services to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria or offering to 'decontaminate' the inside of your home. This is a scam do not take up the offer. 

How to avoid being a scam victim




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Fareham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Civic Way, Hampshire, PO16 7AZ
Tel: +44 (0) 1329 236100 | Mobile Text/Photo: 07876 131415 | Fax: +44 (0) 1329 821770
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