Police warning over fraudsters using Coronavirus to scam customers

PUBLISHED: 12:12 06 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:12 06 March 2020

No confirmed cases of Coronavirus in East Devon as of Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Picture: Getty Images

No confirmed cases of Coronavirus in East Devon as of Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Picture: Getty Images


Online fraudsters using Coronavirus to con unsuspecting victims have cost internet shoppers more than £800,000, Devon and Cornwall Police has warned.

In the last month, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have identified 21 reports of fraud where the term Coronavirus was used - 10 of those involved people shopping online for protective face masks which were never delivered.

Action Fraud said they have also had multiple reports about Coronavirus-themed phishing emails attempting to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial information. The fraud and cybercrime reporting centre is advising people to not click on links or attachments in suspicious emails and to never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details.

When making a purchase from a company or person they don't know and trust, people are urged to carry out some research first and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase.

Visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely for more information

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