Covid 19 has given fraudsters and ideal opportunity to exploit others for personal gain.
Fraudsters depend on vulnerabilities of people in this case the need for protective equipment, gel and facemasks
Scams include: ordering through non-existent companies; financial fraud, non-arrival of equipment; fake or hacked websites; phishing and malware attacks on your computer and so on.
Before replying to any offer Safe Communities STRONGLY recommends:
Never to respond to any adverts or offers immediately – always step back and consider if you really need the item based on DGS advice and availability of their services or that of Infarmed
SOCIAL MEDIA – On social media be very careful – the person up the road maybe offering facemasks for sale, but is that person legitimate: will they be delivered? Are they substandard? IS that person a possible Covid 19 carrier? BE AWARE and avoid unless you can trust that person.
EMAILS – With emails, NEVER reply or click on links except from trustworthy sources. Place your curser over (BUT DO NOT CLICK ON) the link to see who it actually came from. Is the senders email address the same as, or similar to a legitimate company? One full stop can make all the difference!
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase.
Never pay for anything by inter – bank transfer or MoneyGram, such as Western Union. Credit card in the best protection.
COMPANIES- is the link or telephone used actually that of the company – google the company and compare? Use Scam Advisor to enter the website URL – it will show their reliability or a possible fake. Companies showing the HTTPS// are secure. Check carefully the website itself. Do all the links work? Does it have verifiable contact details etc?
POSTAL SERVICES from overseas are heavily disrupted so THERE IS NO GUARANTEE that you will receive the items that you have ordered.
- Independently verify the company/individual offering the items before making any purchases;
- Be aware of bogus websites – criminals will often use a web address which looks almost identical to the legitimate one, e.g. ‘abc.org’ instead of ‘abc.com’;
- Check online reviews of a company before making a purchase – for example, have there been complaints of other customers not receiving the promised items?;
- Be wary if asked to make a payment to a bank account located in a different country than where the company is located;
- If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, alert your bank immediately so the payment can be stopped.
- Do not click on links or open attachments which you were not expecting to receive, or come from an unknown sender;
- Be wary of unsolicited emails offering medical equipment or requesting your personal information for medical checks – legitimate health authorities do not normally contact the general public in this manner.