scams – sling your hook

Become a Scams Marshall

Become a Friends Against Scams Champion

Criminals take advantage of any situation to try and commit fraud, and the Covid-19 Pandemic and Vaccination rollouts are no exceptions

  • COVID-19 Scams.
    • A stranger offering to do shopping for you.
      Criminals target elderly and vulnerable people and offer to do shopping on their behalf. However, they’ll simply take the money and never return. Always exercise caution when accepting help from an individual or allowing them access to your home in any capacity.
  • EU Departure
    • Britain’s departure from the EU will provide criminals with an opportunity to target you with fraud and scams. These may include:
      • Tricking you into purchasing European Health Insurance Cards from unofficial websites
      • Fake HMRC websites urging businesses trading with the EU to register for a “UK trade number”
      • Unsolicited calls/emails, using the current news around Brexit, to encourage you to make new investments.
        Stay ahead of the criminals by always taking a moment to #Stop and #Challenge any requests for your personal/financial information or money. Remember they’re experts at tricking you into believing they’re from trusted organisations using urgent language and even easily obtainable personal information so ensure you #TakeFiveYou can protect yourself by seeking advice directly from the website below and contacting organisations directly using a known email or phone number. If you’re planning on making any investments, check the Financial Conduct Authority’s register for regulated firms, individuals and bodies. Additionally, HMRC will never ask you for your personal or payment information via emails or text messages. #StopChallengeProtect
  • HMRC, goodwill payment
    • You receive a fake text message stating you’ve received a goodwill payment from the HMRC. These messaages are designed to steal your account details. Do not click on the link provided.
  • Fake lockdown fines
    • You receive a fake text message stating that you have been fined for stepping outside during lockdown restrictions. Even though the text claims to be from the government, they are not true. Always take a moment to think before you part with your money or information.
  • Selling fake or non-existent products
    • Some criminals are trying to sell masks/hand sanitiser or testing kits. Only purchase these from suppliers you trust. And never buy coronavirus prevention pills. These pills do not exist.
  • Vaccine Scams
    • In the UK, coronavirus vaccines are currently only available via the NHS. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer or your local pharmacy or GP. If it’s anyone else, it’s a scam.
      Vaccinations are free of charge, meaning the NHS will never;
      • Ask you for your bank account or card detils
      • ask you for PINS or passwords
      • ask you to provide proof of ID, like passports or utility bills
      • ask you to provide personal information, like your mother’s maiden name
      • arrive at your home unannounced to administer a vaccine
        If you want to know more, go to
  • Reporting
  • Fraud Prevention
    • Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
    • Do not let anyone into your home without confirming their identity. Make them wait and call their head office if you need to. Genuine callers will not mind you doing this.
    • Be wary of emails or texts that you weren’t expecting. These scam messages can be very hard to spot. They are designed to get you to react without thinking. If you’re not sure, then double check.