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Protect yourself and your details from fraudsters. West Midlands Police has warned residents to be wary of ‘coronavirus scammers’.

Action Fraud has received multiple reports about fraud linked to coronavirus. They are therefore asking you to read and share some crime prevention advice with loved ones to ensure you aren’t being tricked by fraudsters taking advantage of people’s worries. In recent weeks they’ve seen reports about coronavirus-themed phishing emails attempting to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial information.

One tactic used by fraudsters is to contact potential victims over email claiming to be able to provide a list of coronavirus infected people in their area. In order to access this information, the victim needs to click on a link, which leads to a malicious website, or is asked to make a payment in Bitcoin. People have also made purchases and paid money from online sellers that have never arrived. The number of these reports are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world. Please share the below crime prevention advice with friends and family members so fraudsters cannot profit during this time.

  • Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails
  • Do not respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal or financial information
  • Install latest software and updates on devices
  • If you are looking at making purchases on sites you don’t know or trust then make sure you do research of the company first before making the purchase, ask family and friends for advice
  • If you do decide to make payment use a credit card as the majority of credit card providers insure purchases made online
  • Keep in contact with your loved ones, especially if elderly or more vulnerable and make sure they are safe and comfortable

Kloe Burrows from West Midlands Police economic crime unit, said:

Times like these can bring out the best and worst in people. While some will be looking out for vulnerable relatives and friends we also know a small minority will be looking to profit from the worry and concerns caused by coronavirus.

Our advice is to be mindful of clicking on links in emails or messages, paying for items online from companies you have not researched and giving people money or your bank details if they knock on your door and offer to do some shopping on your behalf if you are unable to get out.

Further fraud crime prevention advice can be found on https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Examples of phishing messages include:

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