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People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being warned to be on their guard against scammers using the coronavirus in a bid to trick residents.
Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team say security experts have identified a rise in scams linked to the outbreak.
Reports suggest some have been posing as health authorities on emails with links claiming to contain updates – but which actually infect computers.
They are also buying domain names similar to organisations such as the World Health Organisation to con people into believing they are genuine.
Cllr Gill Heath, Communities leader at Staffordshire County Council, said:
“Unfortunately criminals will exploit any situation to make money and during a crisis like this, it was very likely we would see scams linked to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re simply asking people to be vigilant and report any email or telephone scams to our team or to Citizens Advice.
“We appreciate that many scams can appear genuine but If people are in any doubt at all they should ignore the offer, delete the email or hang up the phone if it’s a telephone call.
“People should always be wary about an unsolicited approach.
“It’s often older or more vulnerable residents who are targeted by scams too so please keep an eye out for elderly family members or neighbours.”Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council
People can report scams to Staffordshire County Council’s Information Governance team by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01785 278109.