Rogue traders in Scotland have been impersonating NHS staff to try and con people out of cash, it has been reported.
East Lothian Council has warned of crooks going door-to-door pretending to be NHS workers collecting donations or offering to do people’s shopping for money.
Fraudsters have also offered to spray paths and driveways with anti-bacterial treatment for cash.
Criminals are busy online too, setting up fake websites offering Covid-19 “cures” or testing kits. Some scammers have set up bogus web pages asking for donations for victims or promoting awareness and prevention tips.
Marjorie Gibson, head of operations with consumeradvice.scot, said: “This kind of despicable behaviour will cause anxiety and stress at a time when so many are finding the lockdown difficult to cope with.
“It’s sickening that rogue traders are looking to prey on the vulnerable during this crisis, and we urge everyone to be vigilant.”
Police Scotland offers the following advice: “Never be afraid to say ‘no thank you’ and close the door on a cold caller.
“Do not feel pressured into making a decision on the spot. Any legitimate trader/helper will be happy to return at a later date.
“Be sceptical if you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message about the coronavirus, and never click on any attachments or links.
“Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into donating money, and never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
“Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes.”