Information regarding current scams relating to the current pandemic which local residents should be aware of.

Since the 1 February 2020 there have been in excess of 110 people reporting frauds related to COVID-19 and in excess of £1 million worth of losses directly from those scams. It’s important to protect yourself and be aware of current scams.

Scammers are calling home phones and sending text messages to mobile phones, which contain misinformation or could leave you out of pocket if you fall victim.

Some calls and texts claim to be from the Government, your GP’s surgery, the NHS, or even the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Be aware of online quiz style scams, designed to harvest your personal information, information that you would be unlikely to give to a stranger until it’s dressed up in the form of a quiz. These may appear harmless but they are not. If you are keen to provide details relating to COVID-19 it might be worthwhile considering registering for the Covid-19 symptom tracker the information is being provided to Kings College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital and Zoe to study the symptoms and track the spread of the virus. Covid-19 symptom tracker.

A Council Tax email appearing to originate from the Government advising of a refund being due is being sent to residents, it's important to remember that like West Dunbartonshire Council, HMRC would never send this information to you in an email. An update on current and ongoing scams that HMRC are aware of can be found on their dedicated page.

Scammers are known to be contacting residents by text message advising that if you have a child who is in receipt of free school meals you are entitled to assistance, in order to receive that assistance they are asking that you provide your bank details. It is vitally important that you do not hand over your bank details. If you are in a position where your child is entitled to free school meals and you are not receiving assistance then you should contact your school hub. 

Fines for leaving home without a reasonable excuse whilst we are in this emergency situation will not be levied by text message, any text message you receive advising of a fine is a scam and payment should not be made. Law enforcement or Government agencies would not ask for payment by this means.

If you think you have become a victim to either of these scams or any other scam related to COVID-19 or otherwise contact Trading Standards using the details on this page.

We have been alerted that some criminals or unscrupulous traders may be taking advantage of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The below information will help you understand what might be a scam, the e-bulletin which has been released has information on current scams which take advantage of the pandemic. The Neighbourhood Alert system will help keep you in touch with what is going on in your local area at this time.

Our partners Citizens Advice Scotland have compiled a useful tool to help identify if something is a scam or not. The online tool asks a list of questions and then provides you with information identifying whether it is a scam or otherwise. The scam checker can be accessed at Citizens Advice Scotland.

West Dunbartonshire Council Trading Standards along with our partner agency Trading Standards Scotland would like to encourage local residents to sign up to a new weekly e-bulletin, Scam Share.

Scam Share looks to advise local residents of current and on-going scams. Scam Share will be updated by Trading Standards Scotland and Trading Standards departments across Scotland to highlight and advise on scams that are reported to us to help you identify if someone is targeting you, a family member or a neighbour as a potential scam victim. To sign up to this newsletter simply visit the Scam Share webpage and add your email address.

In addition to Scam Share local residents can sign up to the Neighbourhood Alert system, this is another method for staying up to date with relevant issues that are local to you. The neighbourhood alert system is updated by partners in Police Scotland, Trading Standards, Fire and Rescue and Utility Companies all provide alerts to this system and with real time alerts allowing the 700,000 individuals signed up to the service know what issues are affecting their local area.

You can sign up by visiting the Neighbourhood Alert System website.