Covid-19 scams: what to know, and how to stay safe

There have been reports that some fraudsters have been using covid-19 to scam people in a variety of ways, and Police and Trading Standards are concerned people may try to exploit the new Track and Trace system. As people are unfamiliar with the system, they say there are risks that people might be tricked into clicking on unsafe links, or passing over information they shouldn’t.

While we are all at risk from scams like these, your child’s additional needs may make them particularly vulnerable. If they have a mobile phone or use email, make sure they know how to avoid getting scammed.

East read coronavirus scams advice

East Sussex County Council has worked with the National Trading Standards Scams Team to put together some easy read info and advice on the different ways people might use covid-19 to try to scam you, and how to stay safe: Coronavirus and scams [pdf 1mb]

Track and Trace tips

Police and Trading Standards have provided some guidelines around Track and Trace, to help you feel confident you’re in contact with the right people.

Genuine contact tracers will:

  • contact you by sending you a text message from ‘NHS’, calling you from 0300 013 5000 or by email
  • ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website:
  • ask for your full name and date of birth, and your postcode
  • ask about any coronavirus symptoms you’re experiencing
  • ask for the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the two days prior to your symptoms starting
  • ask if anyone you’ve been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

They will never:

  • try and get you to dial a premium rate (09 or 087) number to speak to them
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
  • try and get you to download any software to your PC, or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website other than the contact-tracing website (
  • try and get any details about your bank account
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs
  • try and get you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phne
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • offer any medical advice on the treatment of any possible coronavirus symptoms

Reporting scams

If you suffer from fraud due to a scam like this, report it to Action Fraud.

The National Cyber Security Centre has also asked for people to forward anyone phishing attacks they receive (where someone pretends to be a reputable organisation to try to get your personal information) to them at this email address:


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