Coronavirus fraud and scams

Trading Standards offer up-to-date advice about the dangers of becoming a victim of fraud or scams during the coronavirus outbreak.

Anyone wanting to report a COVID-19 scam should contact trading standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or via the Citizens Advice website.

See further information about:

Coronavirus fraud awareness

Please be careful before handing over any money, especially if the person is not known to you.

Be aware of fraudsters who may be:

  • offering advice and treatment for coronavirus
  • setting up websites offering cures or asking for donations for victims
  • selling fake testing kits
  • targeting businesses and providing false information regarding the measures they must take to comply with the law

Fraud and scams awareness good practice tips:

  • be suspicious about any email, telephone calls or visits you receive out of the blue, especially if anyone is asking you for money or personal information
  • before making any purchases or giving out personal information, do your research and ask a friend/family member to help if you can
  • be suspicious of anyone who wants you make an immediate purchase – most genuine traders will be happy to let you think about it
  • if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is

For further information on scams please visit the Action Fraud Website.

To report an issue to the Police please ring 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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Business scams

Traders should be wary of anyone offering assistance. In particular, please be wary of anyone offering grants or financial help.

Be cautious of any unexpected calls, specifically any that request immediate payments you do not recognise or requests for your card or bank details.

Be suspicious of any unexpected emails. Check that the sender has a email address. If you suspect that the email is fraudulent do not click any links or open any attachments.

Anyone wishing to report a scammer should contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline, telephone: 0808 223 1133.

Any traders wishing to diversify into new trading areas (such as the production of hand sanitisers or takeaway services), who would like advice, can contact Public Protection by email:

Business grants

We use strict 'audit and anti-fraud' processes when processing business grants, to verify bank details, make swift payments, and avoid fraudulent applications.

We'll quote your eForm reference number, so you'll know any correspondence is from the council.

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Garden waste scams

Residents have reported receiving calls from bogus council officials offering green waste refunds and asking for bank details. This is a scam: We are not offering refunds at this point and will not ask for your bank details.

Beware of traders who telephone or door knock offering to remove your garden waste.

Anyone offering to dispose of garden waste must hold a Commercial Waste Carriers Licence (provided by the Environment Agency). Without one they cannot legally dispose of any waste at our waste and recycling centres, meaning they may illegally fly tip or burn it, creating a nuisance.

For further help or to report a complaint of this sort please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

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Also see

Public Protection

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 01904 551525