14 July 2020
The Highland Council is warning the public to be on their guard for the latest COVID-19 scam which is circulating around the country. Information on this scam was received by Highland Council Trading Standards, through a national intelligence network.
The scam involves a text message which states that crisis grants of £1500 are now available to individuals who need support during the pandemic. It asks the recipient to click on a link to check eligibility, gov.crisis-grant.com.
Mark McGinty, Trading Standards Team Leader, says: “In this type of scam, the scammers are hoping that those in our community who are in real need of financial assistance will click on the link. The link clearly isn’t a link to an official Government site and by clicking on it, the recipient runs the risk of opening up their personal and financial data, which will likely be used for criminal purposes with no thought for the harm it may cause the individual concerned.”
Sheila McKandie, Head of Revenues & Customer Services, added: “I would urge everyone who reads this message to help stop the scam by sharing this warning and advice issued by Highland Council with as many family members, friends and neighbours as they possibly can.”
She said: “If you, or someone you know, is needing financial support, the Council’s Welfare Support Team can undertake a welfare check to ensure that their household’s income is maximised by claiming all entitlements that are due. Our team can be contacted on 0800 090 1004 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, your local Citizens Advice Bureau is on hand and has a team of experts to offer advice and to assist with completing all relevant application forms.”
Any individual who receives one of these scam texts is asked to delete it completely from their device.
Highland Council Trading Standards work in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland (ADS).
Anyone who thinks they may have been scammed can contact ADS who offer free and confidential consumer advice on Freephone 0808 164 6000 or by email through their website address at: www.consumeradvice.scot