Beware of Coronavirus scams

Published Monday, 30 March 2020

Residents are warned to be careful and remain vigilant in the light of COVID-19 related scams and other misleading information.

The news follows reports of bogus health officials cold calling to carry out COVID-19 testing and reports of misleading claims around the efficacy and inflated prices of essential goods, including pharmaceutical products. The bogus individuals are taking advantage of a worrying situation and are gaining access to homes to commit offences. Vulnerable and elderly residents in particular, are advised to be especially cautious of uninvited phone calls, emails or any form of contact, and discuss with family or friends first.

Councillor Kate Lymer, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement and SCAMbassador said “In this case, we are warning against a known scam where two men are door knocking, claiming to be from the health service and looking to access a property to test for the COVID-19 virus. The NHS are not conducting any door to door testing programmes, so please don’t be tricked by this.”

Councillor Lymer continued “The advice is to call the police if anyone attempts to access your property in this way. You can also ring the trading standards team at Bromley on 07903 852090 if you are worried about cold callers in your area.”

Rogue Traders are generally those who cold call someone at home and knock without invitation, often exploiting the elderly and vulnerable. They convince them to pay for fictitious items or shoddy repairs while charging extortionate fees for their services.  Sometimes residents can also be threatened if they do not comply.

In a positive move, many people have volunteered during the Coronavirus crisis to help others in their local community, particularly the more vulnerable and at risk groups. In line with scam advice, the council is requesting that volunteers do not ask for cash in advance of shopping for neighbours for example, in order to minimise the risk of fraud.

If you or somebody you know is affected by rogue traders or scams, get the advice, support and assistance you need by calling the council’s trading standards rapid response team on 07903 852090.

More information can be found at www.bromley.gov.uk/covid-19

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk