Scots targeted with COVID-19 "cure" as scamsters exploit pandemic

Fake medical products claiming to "cure" or prevent COVID-19 are among the new online and doorstep scams which have targeted Scots during the pandemic.
An investigation is underway into the sale of products claiming to cure COVID-19An investigation is underway into the sale of products claiming to cure COVID-19
An investigation is underway into the sale of products claiming to cure COVID-19

Trading Standards Officers have now issued new guidance and advice to Scots after fraudsters sought to exploit the outbreak.

An investigation is underway into the sale of fake medical products, including items claiming to prevent or cure COVID-19, and testing kits, Trading Standards Scotland revealed today.

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There have also been reports of companies offering to ‘cleanse’ properties of COVID-19 and of fraudsters cold calling households and posing as NHS or Red Cross staff.

Scammers continue to bombard Scottish consumers with fake emails, cold calls and online fraud,” said Councillor Kelly Parry, Chair of Trading Standards Scotland and COSLA’s Community Wellbeing Spokesperson,

“Trading Standards staff are working to disrupt and prevent these scammers and to keep the public informed. Consumers should get their information from official sources and should question all unsolicited calls and emails.”

Online scams have included quizzes that ask for personal information which could then be used to commit financial fraud or identity theft.

Fake emails, texts and calls claiming to be from HMRC, the NHS and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have also been reported , along with fake supermarket vouchers, and pop-up adverts that appear whilst online shopping offering discount codes.

Trading Standards Scotland has now produced a range of guidance and advice to help prevent members of the public becoming victims of scams during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Councillor Perry added: “Trading Standards staff in Scotland are keeping consumers updated on the latest email, online, phone and doorstep scams.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has seen an emergence of new scams and consumers are advised to get information from trusted, official sources only.

“As fraudsters adapt to changing circumstances, so to do TS staff as they work to identify and prevent scams and to protect Scottish consumers.”

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