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Police warn against coronavrius scammers targeting elderly and vulnerable

By Dayna Farrington | Birmingham | News | Published:

West Midlands Police is issuing crime prevention advice to older and vulnerable people across the region – warning them of scammers who are trying to profit from coronavirus.

West Midlands Police is warning against scammers who are trying to profit from coronavirus

Specialist detectives from the force's economic crime unit (ECU) are writing to past fraud victims alerting them to tricks being used to burgle homes or access banking information.

Over recent weeks, they have seen 'phising' emails from hackers claiming to provide a list of Covid-19 infected people in their area, but with a link that leads to a malicious website.

While online sellers purporting to be offering face masks or hand sanitiser for sale are pocketing money and not sending out goods.

The force has even seen thieves posing as police officers or health visitors making Covid-19 checks at homes in a bid to gain access and steal cash and valuables.

Kloe Burrows, from the ECU, said: "Unprecedented times like these bring out the best in people – with communities rallying round to help those in need – but also the worst in people and those who are using the virus pandemic to profit.

“I have heard from the British Red Cross who are reporting people claiming to represent them who are taking cash and bank cards from people under the pretences of running shopping errands.

"But they are stealing the money and using bank cards fraudulently.

“Its beggars belief people can be so cruel at a time of crisis – but it’s happening and we all need to be aware and pass on the message to older, perhaps more trusting relatives, friends and neighbours."

To report suspicious activity, call West Midlands Police on 101, or visit the Action Fraud website by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

In an emergency, always call 999.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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