Fraudsters are exploiting people and businesses with COVID-19 related financial concerns, Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning.
People struggling to obtain loans and similar finance from recognised High St. lenders may be tempted to go online where there are many scammers waiting to offer bogus loans or business funding. The scammer’s websites encourage individuals to make an online application and in doing so gather telephone numbers and email addresses. Those searching for loans or similar are then contacted and offered money. However, the fraudsters ask for an upfront fee – usually between £25 and £450 – as part of the ‘application’ process. Once paid, the money (loan or funding) never materialises and the fraudsters disappear.
Information and Advice
- Be wary of any unexpected approach offering you loans or similar
- Never make an upfront payment to secure a loan
Struggling with your finances? Free and impartial help and advice is available, visit:
- COVID-19 help and advice: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/
- Debt advice charity: https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help/debt-advice.aspx
- Debt advice charity: https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
- UK Government COVID-19 help and advice for individuals and businesses: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
- Report any type of scam to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. Citizens Advice can provide telephone support and advice. They will also alert Warwickshire Trading Standards Service who can provide additional advice.
- Keep up to date on the latest scams: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/scams