The COVID-19 crisis is a worrying time for all of us, but particularly those older and more vulnerable members of our society. Communities are looking at ways to pull together and provide help to those who may need or want to self-isolate.
Various services are on offer to those who are unable to leave their homes. Although the majority of these cases will be examples of much-needed kindness, there is also the opportunity open to rogue traders, distraction burglars, bogus callers and other criminals. If you think that any of your friends or relatives might be targeted, please remind them to use their safety chains when answering the door. If they don’t have one then they may prefer to speak through a window or not answer at all. They should avoid letting anyone they don’t know into their home.

Action Fraud reports that scammers are sending out e-mails advertising coronavirus kits and cures. Please try to ensure that these are not responded to in any fashion.
If you are looking for ways to offer help, we would suggest the following:

  • consider only calling on neighbours who know or are likely to recognise you
  • try to avoid asking for money in advance if collecting shopping or prescriptions
  • keep an eye out for rogue traders carrying out work
  • phone elderly and vulnerable friends and relatives to reiterate this advice