Bogus callers target West Yorkshire homes with fake 'coronavirus vaccine'
Bogus callers in West Yorkshire have been targeting vulnerable residents by offering to sell them a fake coronavirus vaccine.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards (WYTS) said it was one of a rising number of scams reported as the country heads towards a sixth week of lockdown.
In one case, the team said they had been made aware of bogus callers attending an address and selling a vaccine for Covid-19.
In their guidance, WYTS said: "There is NO vaccine yet for COVID-19, nor are testing kits available to buy on the general market.
"If you have anyone approaching you, either at home, on the phone or anywhere else, trying to sell you a vaccine, a cure, or a testing kit, please know this is a scam.
"Please only seek medical advice from your doctor."
The list also includes a Morrisons Voucher scam, where social media users are sent a link purporting to offer free shopping vouchers. On this site, they are invited to enter personal account details, which could then be used to allow scammers access to the user's accounts.
There have also been reports of scam letters and calls addressed to vulnerable and elderly residents, urging them to pay large sums of money to avoid court action for unpaid council tax bills, as well as local pest control companies distributing leaflets to communities suggesting that they will be able to "kill off" Covid-19 by disinfecting driveways.
WYTS also said they had seen phishing emails sent out pretending to be from Bradford Council's 'Covid Response Team'.
Sharing the list of scams with residents in the Wakefield district, Crime Prevention Officer Mark Isherwood urged residents to remain vigilant and report any suspected scams to trading standards by emailing [email protected]
How can I avoid scams?
ActionFraud provides advice on avoiding scams from phishing emails to doorstep traders.
They advise residents to refuse access to unexpected visitors, especially if they feel pressured. Where possible, ask for identification, and ask the tradesperson if you can take their photo - if they are legitimate, they probably won't mind.
If a letter or email is suspicious, you should not click a link or phone a number. Instead, contact the company via the details listed in the phone book or on their website.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.