If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud, please call Essex Police on 101.

Report fraud or attempted fraud by contacting Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

TV LICENSING EMAILS

This month, Action Fraud have received over 260 reports of COVID-19 TV scam phishing emails.

The emails purporting to be from TV Licensing claim that the recipient’s direct debit has failed and that they need to pay to avoid prosecution. Recipients are told that they are eligible for a “COVID19 Personalized Offer” of six months free. The messages contain links to genuine-looking websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information.

HMRC EMAILS

CIFAS (the UK’s leading fraud prevention organisation) are warning of a new HMRC scam. This scam appears to be specifically targeting people who are out of work or working less due to coronavirus, and is offering £1,000s in grants.

The recipient is told to click on a link to check their eligibility, and answer questions that are designed to steal personal information.

CIFAS are stating that this scam comes from the email address “HMRC@hotmail.com”, but as new frauds spring up every day, this could change.

Whenever you get an email you didn’t expect, remember to Take Five:

– 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.

Finally, here’s where you can get the latest information on coronavirus-related scams and how to protect yourself: http://actionfraud.police.uk/covid19