People must be wary of “corona crooks” trying to exploit the outbreak. A flurry of emails and texts have been sent by scammers claiming to be from Government departments and Kent Police.
One such email, purporting to be from the Department for Education, asked parents of children entitled to free school meals to send their bank details “to make sure you’re supported”. The official Department for Education raised it on social media, saying: “This is a scam email – do not respond, and delete immediately.”
Another scam email was sent claiming to be from the Department for Work & Pensions, while scams from banks, PayPal and even some utility companies, have been reported.
Kent Police have also issued a warning not to click on links sent to people in text messages claiming to be from the government about fines.
Police say fraudsters are ‘spoofing’ the government’s address in order to access personal data and financial information. Some of the fake texts say people have been recorded leaving their homes more than once and need to pay a fine. They are then urged to click a link for more information.
It follows another warning after a scam offering bogus coronavirus testing in Herne Bay, where people impersonating NHS workers, knocked on doors giving out “testing kits” while their accomplice attempted to gain entry to the rear of the property.
It’s become clear that times like these bring out the best and the worst in people.
We have Corona Community Champions – our brave NHS and care staff as well as Super Neighbours schemes and community hubs. There are so many examples of kindness, care, compassion and resilience across our community. Yet there will always be some people who try to exploit the situation.
So in these times it is as important as ever – indeed more so – to make sure that we all do the checks we would usually do. If you are subject to criminal activity, then report it in the usual way to the Police.
Don’t click on a link from an unknown email or text. Do look at official websites, mine included, for contact and helpline numbers of Government and other official services.”
Anyone with specific concerns relating to the outbreak should visit this website which will be updated with advice, links to official guidance and key contact details. Anyone can also get in touch with Natalie directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org