Urgent: Scam warning post

Northumbria Police has been made aware of individuals in the East End of Newcastle posing as YHN or Council employees and visiting properties claiming that they are there to enforce COVID-19 regulations.

Please be aware that no one but the Police can ‘enforce’ social distancing regulations. You should report anyone claiming this who is not a uniformed police officer to Northumbria Police.

All of force staff carry official ID with them. If you are visited by anyone claiming to be from YHN then please ask to see their ID. Do not engage with them if they are unable to provide ID for whatever reason.

We are working closely with our partners in the city to investigate these incidents.

Take care and stay safe everyone.

Protective advice re Fraud  http://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk

Emerging Crime Trends

Criminals are using the following methods to exploit the current pandemic –

  •                 Sending emails offering fake medical support
  •                 Scamming people who may be vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home e.g. high return investments and ‘healthcare opportunities’
  •                 Making appeals for bogus charities or for those that are ill
  •                 Online shopping scams where orders for protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products do not arrive
  •                 Fake testing kits being offered for sale
  •                 Using Government branding to try to trick people, e.g. using HMRC branding to make spurious offers of financial support through unsolicited emails, phone calls and text.

As the pandemic is likely to continue criminals will look to exploit further, such as –

  • Exploiting financial concerns to ask for upfront fees for bogus loans
  • Offering high return investment scams or targeting pensions

Huge increases in the number of people working remotely means that significantly more people will be vulnerable to computer service fraud where criminal try to obtain access to victim’s computer or divulge log on details and passwords.

A huge surge in phishing scams or calls claiming to be government departments offering grants, tax rebates or compensations is also expected. 

Key Messages for the public and businesses –

STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe

CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests.  Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

COVID 19 related

Criminals are 'selling' face masks and not delivering them. Make sure that you only buy from reputable companies and where possible, pay by using a credit card.

Criminals are also sending emails claiming to have important coronavirus updates, asking for donations, or offering compensation.

Don't Click on any links in suspicious emails and never give out your personal details.

Criminals are creating fake coronavirus websites. Be aware of scam websites posing as genuine websites. 

Colouring Sheets

Several examples of local families and groups have been sharing pictures with us.    Corporate comms have produced some colouring sheets that can be downloaded by families - Link to website - colouring sheets

Online Safety for children and young people

See more info here