Coronavirus scams

Be alert to Coronavirus scams

It’s always important to be aware of scams but now more than ever you need to be alert as you may find you’re seeing more of them as the situation with the Coronavirus continues worldwide.

How to avoid scams

To avoid scams:

  • Don’t click on links or open attachments in emails and text messages unless you’re sure they’re from a legitimate source - scammers will go to great lengths to make their communications with you look genuine.
  • You shouldn’t ever give out personal or financial information over the phone
  • only purchase goods online from trusted and legitimate retailers and, if you have one, use a credit card as this will offer you greater insurance.
  • Don’t be rushed into making a decision – if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • Don’t assume everyone is genuine. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Don’t let anyone into your home without verifying their identity and checking they have official documentation or ID card.
  • If someone claims to represent 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.

Report scams

Email trading standards.

For advice on scams phone Advice Direct (Scotland) on

0808 164 6000.

To report a scam phone Police Scotland on


Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.

Visit beat scams to find out about action you can take.

More information

Staying safe online

GetSafeOnline has launched its #SaferOnlineLockdown campaign, inviting individuals to contact its experts for online advice during the pandemic.

INTERPOL global awareness campaign

INTERPOL has launched a global awareness campaign running from 4 to 31 May to keep communities safe from cyber criminals seeking to exploit the outbreak to steal data, commit online fraud or simply disrupt the virtual world. The key message of the campaign, which focuses on alerting the public to the cyber threats linked to the Coronavirus pandemic, is to #WashYourCyberHands – to promote good “cyber hygiene".