COVID-19: Beware of fraudsters taking advantage of the elderly

COVID-19: Beware of fraudsters taking advantage of the elderly

Published by Helen Down at 1:53pm 21st March 2020.

3 minute read

A reminder from Wiltshire police to protect vulnerable people in self-isolation.

Officers are urging people to be mindful of new scams targeting the elderly and most vulnerable who are self-isolating at home.

Examples of this type of fraud include people visiting homes posing as police officers and/or health officials trying to gain entry with a view to burgle them.

These scammers often offer fake coronavirus testing kits and bogus food and medicine delivery services.  

But so far there haven't been any cases in Wiltshire.


  • Be a good neighbour - keep an eye on an elderly or vulnerable person living near you. 
  • Check ID - volunteers working with the health and emergency services will be in possession of the necessary documentation to prove they are genuine. 
  • If in doubt call police - if you are not sure about someone, don't engage and report any serious suspicious behaviour. 
  • Online fraud - don't click on links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
  • Shopping online - if buying from a company or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase.   If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

Wiltshire Police say the majority of groups have the best of intentions and will be working with charities or a local authority and should have proof that they are doing so. 

They are reminding people that police officers and medical professionals are NOT doing door-to-door checks or administering tests currently. 

Wiltshire Police urge you to report any suspicious person or activity to them straight away so they can gather evidence and take action.

Call 101, if non-urgent, or 999 in an emergency.  You can also report crime online now via the Wiltshire Police website.

There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website.

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