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
  • 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 closures due to coronavirus

Certain business premises in the city are now required to close and the Public Protection team have been given powers to enforce this legislation.

See the latest Government guidance on the types of places that must close.

Anyone wishing to report a premises or would like further advice should contact the Public Protection team.

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

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

See information about coronavirus advice for businesses.

Business grants

We're using a strict 'audit and anti-fraud' process to contact those who've applied for a business rates grant, to verify your bank details, make swift BACS bank transfers and avoid fraudulent applications.

We'll quote your eForm reference number and Business Rates account number, so you'll know the call 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 Unit

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 01904 551525