Services & Information
Official GOV.UK Fraud Message Re Texts
Professor John Newton, national coordinator of the UK coronavirus testing programme, has warned against the purchase of unapproved antibody testing kits and has released a statement.
Several reports have emerged of organisations seeking to purchase antibody tests for their employees, or of individuals purchasing these tests online for personal use. Antibody tests offer hope for people wanting to find out if they have had coronavirus, and are now immune and can get back to work. But so far, no country in the world, including the UK, has found a reliable antibody test.
Professor John Newton has warned that unapproved tests could be misleading, by providing inaccurate or inconsistent results, potentially putting those tested and those around them at risk.
Scams and disinformation
When shared, false information can take on a life of its own and have some serious consequences. It can lead to health scares, false accusations and potentially damaging hoax stories. There has been some false information about COVID19. It's not always easy to spot, so the Government recommends you use the SHARE checklist to make sure sharechecklist.gov.uk
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has now highlighted arson attacks on mobile telephone mast sites and other telecommunications infrastructure as a point of concern. These attacks have been fuelled by a baseless theory linking Coronavirus to the 5G network. There is no credible evidence of a link between 5G and Coronavirus, and DCMS is working to tackle this misinformation and ensure security is maintained. It is asking that councils and residents support them in maintaining the telecommunications networks, at a time when it is vital that these networks run as efficiently as possible, by reporting any incidents of damage and suspicious behaviour to the police immediately. Guidance on telecommunications infrastructure is available on GOV.UK.
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 atwww.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.
"The Government has only sent one text message to the public
regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Any others claiming to be from UK
Government are false.
Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments, and don't respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details."
Unfortunately, there have been a variety of council related telephone scams circulating. People have received calls stating that their Council Tax banding may have changed, but when challenged the callers hung up. The council encourages residents who receive telephone calls purporting to be from organisations to challenge callers on their identity. There are a number of genuine council schemes operating at the moment which are genuine- these callers will have no issue with you verifying who they are.
Essex Police recommends that before handing over personal details, always remember ABC:
- Never Assume they are legitimate.
- Never Believe they are legitimate.
- Always Confirm using a trusted number or asking friends and family.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has relaunched its Cyber Aware campaign to support people in the current situation. More people than ever are working from home or turning to the internet for entertainment, shopping or keeping in touch and it's important to know how to keep yourself safe online. The NCSC has also created a new service for the public to be able to report suspicious emails. With your help, the public can fight back against phishing (where criminal use suspicious emails to obtain peoples personal details) and can help the NCSC to take down a significant number of malicious websites.
The email should be forwarded to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service at [email protected]
The NCSC are also reminding people of the things you can do to protect yourself online and has produced 6 Top Tips:
- Create a separate password for your email
- Create a strong password using three random words
- Save your passwords in your browser
- Turn on two-factor authentication
- Update your devices
- Turn on backup
More information on how to stay safe online and instructions on how forward to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service can be found on the NCSC website www.cyberaware.gov.uk.
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.
Danske Bank Whatsapp Message
A recent text has been circulating via Whatsapp, text and social media claiming to have come from the City of London Fraud team. The contact of the message is false.
Fake NHS Emails
Action Fraud have also received numerous reports re an email purporting to be from HM Government asking for donations to the NHS to combat Covid-19. The NHS will never ask for money in this way - if you would like to donate to the NHS you can do so via the official channels.
Remember - do not click on links in unsolicited or unexpected text messages:
Remember A B C
Never Assume they are legitimate.
Never Believe they are legitimate.
Always Confirm using a trusted number or asking friends or family.
If you receive any such messages, report them to Action Fraud -www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing
Find out how to recognise when contact from HMRC is genuine, and how to recognise phishing or bogus emails and text messages.
A good source of information can be found on the Essex Police website https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/online-fraud/https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/online-fraud/
Page updated 14/05/2020