More and more residents in Montgomeryshire are being caught out in Covid-19 “scams”, the town’s Citizens Advice Bureau has warned.
Yasmin Bell, Chief Executive of Newtown-based Citizens Advice Powys, told MyNewtown that since the first lockdown in March last year they have received increasing calls from residents who have been targeted.
“Covid scams are becoming an extensive problem,” said Yasmin.
“Since the first lockdown in March the Scams Action line has had seen a huge increase in people requesting advice. Citizens Advice research shows that one in three people have been targeted by some form of scam since the pandemic began.”
Dyfed Powys Police has also warned of various scams related to Covid-19, including attempting to get people to pay for vaccinations.
Citizens Advice Powys has set out guidance for local residents.
It’s important that people are aware of the new scams around at the moment because of coronavirus. Scams to look out for include:
- advertising face masks or medical equipment at high prices
- emails or texts pretending to be from the government
- emails offering life insurance against coronavirus
- people knocking at your door and asking for money for charity
If you see emails or texts about coronavirus from someone you don’t know, or from an unusual email address, don’t click on any links or buy anything.
Don’t give money or personal details to anyone you don’t know or trust – for example someone who knocks on the door and offers to help.
It might be a scam if:
- it seems too good to be true – for example, a holiday that’s much cheaper than you’d expect.
- someone you don’t know contacts you unexpectedly.
- you suspect you’re not dealing with a real company – for example, if there’s no postal address.
- you’ve been asked to transfer money quickly.
- you’ve been asked to pay in an unusual way – for example, by iTunes vouchers or through a transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union.
- you’ve been asked to give away personal information like passwords or PINs.
- you haven’t had written confirmation of what’s been agreed.
You can get advice from a Scams Action adviser by calling 0808 250 5050.
The service is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.