Police urge extra care on fraud during coronavirus crisis

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times

South West Police has issued a warning for residents to be aware of fraud related to the coronavirus.

Police said criminals were taking advantage of anxiety surrounding COVID-19 to defraud victims online.

COVID-19 fraud scams include telephone fraud, with calls from “hospital officials” and requests for payments to help relatives, and phishing, which includes emails from national or global health authorities.

There are also requests for personal information, payment requests and attachments or links which contain malware.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scam Watch also warned of scammers falsely selling coronavirus-related products online, misinformation about COVID-19 being sent by text and social media, investment scams claiming COVID-19 has created opportunities and products claiming to be a vaccine or cure.

Police said it was a common scam happening and was not specific to the South West, but encouraged the community to remain alert, sceptical and vigilant about who they talked to and gave out their details to.

More information about where to get help after being scammed is available at www.scamwatch.gov.au.

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