Residents are being urged to be wary of scammers and fraudsters who are still operating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said:
“There’s a lot of goodwill and kindness in St Helens in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, but sadly criminals are still trying exploit others, coaxing people into buying goods or services that don’t exist, or attempting to obtain their personal details.
“Criminals want to steal your money or your personal information. They do this by calling unannounced at your door, phoning, texting, emailing or advertising on social media, often pretending to represent a known charity or organisation.
“Please take care, take a moment to think before parting with your money or personal information.”
Follow these tips to protect yourself from being scammed.
- Stop and take a moment to think before parting with your money or personal information.
- It’s okay to decline or ignore any request. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
- The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money, or ask you to reveal a password or PIN.
- Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.
- Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and suspicious text messages to 7726.
- Be wary of anyone that calls at your door unexpectedly – do not let them in. Ask for ID and keep the door closed while you verify who they are. Call 999 if you feel threatened or in danger.
- Confirm callers or requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations directly.
- Stay secure online by keeping your phones, tablets and laptops updated with the latest software, apps and operating systems.
For more information visit www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk. If you require advice on dealing with doorstep traders, call 0808 223 1133.
If you think you’ve been targeted by a fraudster, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.