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Current frauds and scams in County Durham

Fraud is currently the most common crime in the UK, this page highlights the latest frauds and scams to be aware of in County Durham.

The impact of fraud can be huge, ranging from unaffordable personal losses, to impacting the ability of organisations to stay in business.

Criminals net billions of pounds every year with fraud and scams that are often targeted at the elderly and other vulnerable members of our community.

These can come in many shapes and forms and fraudsters are always looking for new ways to fool their victims. Make sure you and your loved ones are aware of the scams below to avoid being caught.

Current fraudulent activity and scams

  1. If you receive a text message about being eligible to claim a Covid-19 grant for self-isolating, be careful, this is a scam. Durham County Council will never text you a link inviting you to make a claim.
  2. Fake test result messages and calls are circulating - a member of staff within the NHS was recently tested after displaying symptoms of Covid-19. Within a short time, they received a text message from an unverified number saying that they had tested positive. The member of staff was then phoned by someone claiming to work for NHS Payroll who asked them to confirm their bank details to receive sickness payment. Always ask yourself why would they need this information? Payroll have your bank details to pay you!
  3. On social media a survey scam is offering £25 to say how you have coped during Covid-19. Often claiming to be council approved the survey asks for personal information including your bank details, D.O.B and N.I. number. These details are then used to commit fraud. 

Help protect yourself and others

  • Be aware of people offering loans and finance. If you don't recognise the company you can check if they are authorised to lend money on the LoanSmart
  • Don't be rushed into making a decision. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is
  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take time to think before parting with your money or personal information
  • Don't assume everyone is genuine. It's okay to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try and rush or panic you
  • If someone claims to represent the council or a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts to pressurise you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
  • Join our Fraud and scams mailing list for email notifications on anything new you need to look out for. The email notification is distributed typically once a month and includes an email address you can use to unsubscribe at any time.

To learn more about the different types of scams visit Friends Against Scams: online learning.