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Coronavirus Scams

Coronavirus Scams

Text Scams 

It has been brought to our attention that a number of tenants have received a text message saying they are entitled to a three-month rent break. If you receive a text telling you that you are entitled to a rent break – this is not true, rent is still being charged. 

We understand that this is a very difficult period for everyone. We are here to help and support you. If you are struggling to pay your rent during the coronavirus outbreak and/or have any concerns about a text message you have received, please contact us as soon as possible: 

  • Online – 24 hours a day: www.togetherhousing.co.uk/get-in-touch/contact-us/  

  • Telephone - 0300 555 5560 lines are open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday (emergency service only outside these hours) 

  • Text – RENT HELP to 66099 and one of our expert advisors will contact you. 

Doorstep scams 

During this time of social distancing, many people will be finding other ways to get essentials while they stay home. With more people are at home this could be an opportunity for doorstep scammers to strike.  

Many volunteer groups will be well-intentioned, wanting to help people get their shopping or other essentials, but there is still a possibility that you are being scammed.  

You could be scammed by someone saying they will collect your shopping, take your money and never deliver anything. They could also pressure you into giving them your pin.  

Please consider the following key messages, which have been produced by Action Fraud and Age UK, when approached by anyone offering services: 

  • Stop - Never do anything you don't want to or make decisions on the spot. 
  • Check - Check for ID. Remember most of these are community volunteers so wouldn't necessarily have ID. There is no way of knowing whether they are legitimate, so if you don't feel comfortable say no. 
  • Ask - Ask someone you trust for a second opinion or ask them if they can provide the support you need. 
  • Mine - If they ask for your card or pin, remember this is very personal information which should not be shared. 
  • Share - If you come across a scam, share your experience with others if possible to prevent them from being scammed. 

Online scams 

During this time of uncertainty many of us are desperate to find out everything we can. This can lead to false information spreading on social media and to people getting scammed online.  

Scammers are using various scams to try and trick people into handing over their details: 

  • Many scammers online are claiming that they have essentials such as hand sanitiser, gloves and masks for sale. They use this to get your banking details. Only buy essentials from trusted sources like supermarkets.  
  • Another scam online is claiming to sell coronavirus tests or supplements which prevent the virus. Only trust Government and NHS sites to provide information about tests and the prevention of coronavirus. Scammers can use this to get your banking details.  
  • Scammers are also trying to get people’s details through scam emails. This is called phishing. Phishing emails may pretend to be your bank and will ask for sensitive information such as bank details or login information. If you receive an email that appears to be a phishing email do not click on attachments in the email or respond to it. There is more information about phishing emails here: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/scam-emails 

How to know if online information is trustworthy: 

Are there spelling errors and incorrect punctuation?  

Trusted sources will write their information in clear, grammatically correct English.  

Where did the information come from?  

Take caution with information from your social media feed. Not all information shared by friends is true. Try to double check these articles against official advice and sources of information before sharing them.   

Is the same information on a credible website such as a national news site, government, or NHS website?  

If not, it is unlikely to be true.  

You can check the NHS and government website for the official response to coronavirus. If you are wanting to see an organisation’s response, you should visit their official website. You can see Together Housing’s response here: https://www.togetherhousing.co.uk/coronavirus-update/ 

For more information about scams and how you can prevent them, visit www.actionfraud.police.uk 

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