There are lots of ways you can stay connected with your immediate neighbourhood and work out who needs help or can offer help. The Councils for Voluntary Service (CVSs) and Volunteer Centres can provide advice about what is available in your local area. More information can be found here CVSs in Surrey.
Things such as Facebook Community Groups, WhatsApp Groups and the Nextdoor App that sends neighbourhood alerts can also be great ways of staying in touch with those around you however it can be difficult to know who to trust.
Don't be scammed
Please be aware that not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will take advantage of this unusual situation our society is facing. Trading Standards have highlighted below the latest scams and tricks so you can be aware and not be taken advantage of. Please note fraudsters come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online.
Coronavirus scams advice
This is what Trading Standards are currently aware of. This list isn't exhaustive, but please be aware:
- People offering miracle cures for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering 'home-testing' for coronavirus – this is a scam these kits are not currently available to buy.
- The council do not need to enter your house to do a deep clean.
- Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes or business rates should be treated with extreme caution. Often the sender just wants your personal details.
- There are new mobile phone apps that claim to give you updates on the virus, instead they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
- Your bank or the police will NEVER ask for your bank details over the phone.
- People offering to do your shopping and ask for money upfront and then disappear.
Tips to avoid getting tricked out of your money
- Do not place items on your doorstep to say you need help as this is an invitation to scammers that you may be in a vulnerable situation.
- Be sceptical, don't be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
- Take your time, don't be rushed.
- If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as GOV.uk or NHS.uk details as provided on our Official Coronavirus Information and Advice web page.
- Know who you're dealing with, if you need help talk to someone you know or get in touch with your local district or borough council.
- Protect your financial information, especially from people you don't know. Do not give your bank card or PIN number to a stranger.
Report a scam
If you think you have been scammed then call the police on 101 (999 only in an emergency)
To report a complaint relating to a coronavirus scam you can contact Trading Standards by email email@example.com or call us or 01296 388788.