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More than 1,000 people in Staffordshire have been targeted by fraudsters looking to exploit the coronavirus, police have revealed.
The figures show that since March, a total more than £22,000 has been taken from local residents by scammers.
Staffordshire Police is now using Scams Awareness Month to urge residents to remain on their guard against fraudsters.
Since March 1,100 people have been targeted across the county, resulting in a combined total of more than £22,000 lost.
Detective Inspector Kerry Skingle said:
“Criminals will use every opportunity they can to defraud innocent people – they will continue to exploit every angle of this national crisis.
“We want people to be aware of the very simple steps they can take to protect themselves from handing over their money, or personal details, to criminals.
“If you’re approached unexpectedly remember to stop and take a moment to think before parting with your money or information that could keep you safe.
“It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
“If you think you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud.”Det Insp Kerry Skingle, Staffordshire Police
Police say the majority of reports are related to online shopping where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, COVID-19 testing kits and other products which have never arrived.
In a lot of cases, if they have arrived, they have been sub-standard.
Action Fraud are also seeing a large number of fake TV Licensing emails where there have been minor changes to thelinks, with some including a COVID-19 related hook.