COVID-19: Protect yourself from rogue traders

This is a worrying time for everyone but particularly for the older and more vulnerable members of our society. Communities are looking at ways to pull together and provide help to those who may need or want to self-isolate.

One of the suggestions we are seeing is to offer services to those who are unable to leave their homes. While we do not wish to discourage much needed kindness, we are also aware of the opportunity this provides to rogue traders, distraction burglars, bogus callers and other criminals.

If you have friends or relatives who may be targeted, remind them to use their safety chains when answering the door. If they don't have one then they may prefer to speak through a window or not answer at all. They should avoid letting anyone they don't know into their home.

Action Fraud have reported scammers sending out e-mails advertising coronavirus kits and cures. Do not respond to these.

If you are looking for ways to offer help, we would suggest the following:

  • consider only calling on neighbours who know or are likely to recognise you
  • try to avoid asking for money in advance if collecting shopping or prescriptions
  • keep an eye out for rogue traders carrying out work
  • phone elderly and vulnerable friends and relatives to reiterate this advice