Scam Alert

Alert message sent 04/04/2020 12:48:00

Information sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

Hello resident,
                      please see below.  Information supplied by Halton Trading Standards.

Warning: Scam texts claiming you have been fined for breaching the Stay at Home requirements
Members of the public have been warned not to fall for one of the latest scams linked to the Covid-19 virus.  Bogus text messages are being sent informing the individual they have been fined for breaching the Stay at Home requirements.
This is in connection with orders from the Government for people to Stay at Home and not to travel, except under essential circumstances.  The latest in a series of scams relating to the virus claims to be from the Government, telling the recipient their movements have been monitored through their phone and they must pay a fine or face a more severe penalty, examples of the messages are below:
As for all forms of unsolicited emails and text messages, we would urge you not to click or tap any links that these messages ask you to.  The links may contain malware that may harm your device, they may contain ransomware – this locks your device and the scammer will then request payment to release it, or they may take you to a site asking you to supply further personal details, or bank account information.
It is true that to help enforce the Stay at Home requirements the Police can order members of the public to go home or leave an area, they have the power to disperse a group, using “reasonable force”, and they can make arrests if someone refuses to comply.  They also have the power to fine those who ignore the order.  The fines are issued by the Police in person - you will not be fined by the government or any other agency and you will not receive the fine by text message, email or over the phone.
Remember the Government advice ‘Stay at home’.
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family.
 You can spread the virus even if you don’t have any symptoms.
If you or somebody you know has been caught out by a scam or fraud please contact one of Halton Trading Standards specialist officers, Linda or Sue on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775, who are already working with people in Halton who have lost thousands of pounds to scams.
Hope this is of use?
Message sent by
Paul Mines (Police, Community Support Officer, Widnes PCSO)

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