Don't fall for fake 'rule of six' fines claiming to be from us, warns Northamptonshire Police
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Cunning criminals are using Covid-19 fines to trick people out of cash in Northamptonshire.
Residents are reporting receiving fake emails claiming to be from local police stating they have broken the 'rule of six' or other coronavirus restrictions and they need to pay up or face the fines being doubled.
But Northamptonshire Police warns that any fines they hand out are always done in person and not to fall for the con.
Chief Inspector Pete Basham said: “Scammers will try and exploit any opportunity they can find to steal from people — and that is certainly the case with coronavirus.
“As well as a number of tax related scams we’re also aware of incidents where people have received emails claiming to be from the police, stating they have breached Covid-19 legislation and have been issued with a fine.
“These Fixed Penalty Notices are handed out in person, by a police officer or Police Community Support Officer who will happily show you their ID if asked. You may receive paperwork after being issued with an FPN, but the initial notice will be issued in person.”
Known Covid-19 related scams include emails claiming to be from the HMRC encouraging people to click on a link to claim a Government grant as well as tax reduction and a job retention scheme emails which ask you to provide personal information.
Criminals can also make contact with their targets by phone, text, on social media, or in person trying to trick people into parting with their money or personal information, or buying goods or services that simply don’t exist.
Law enforcement, government and industry are working together to protect people, raise awareness, take down fraudulent websites and email addresses, and ultimately bring those responsible to justice.
Yet they are still asking residents to heed their warnings to avoid being caught by remembering that the police or bank will never:
■ Contact you out of the blue and ask for your personal details, including your PIN number, password or account details
■ Ask you to withdraw cash and give to someone for safekeeping
■ Send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers
If you think you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.
You can report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad. You can report suspicious emails by forwarding the original message to [email protected]. An automated system will scan the email and if malicious links are found, the associated website will be taken down.