Beware of scams and loan sharks during the Coronavirus outbreak
Unfortunately during the current Coronavirus outbreak some people are trying to take advantage of others whilst they are vulnerable.
If you receive a text message about being eligible to claim a covid 19 grant for self-isolating, be careful, this is a scam. Durham County Council will never text you a link inviting you to make a claim.
Be aware of people offering or selling the following
- Loans and finance. If you don't recognise the company you can check if they are authorised to lend money on the Loan Smart website
- Virus testing kits - these are only offered by the NHS
- Vaccines or miracle cures - there is currently no vaccine or cure
- Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself such as face coverings and anti-bacterial products
- Shopping or medication collection services
- Home cleaning services
- Anyone offering to help you spread or take a council tax payment holiday, especially if they ask for bank details. If you want to spread the cost of council tax evenly over 12 months or delay starting payments until June instead of April let us know by completing our Covid-19: postpone your council tax payments if you have been impacted by coronavirus form.
Protect yourself and others
- Don't be rushed into making a decision. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
- Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take time to think before parting with your money or personal information
- Don't assume everyone is genuine. It's okay to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try and rush or panic you
- If someone claims to represent the council or a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts to pressurise you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
To learn more about the different types of scams visit Friends Against Scams.