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Communities reminded to remain vigilant of scams during coronavirus pandemic

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is reminding communities to remain vigilant to avoid falling victim to scams related to coronavirus. National Trading Standards has reported a national rise in such scams, which target members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends.


The criminals often cold call, whether over the telephone or on the doorstep, claiming to represent charities offering to help them and appear legitimate before taking the victim's money in return for a fake service, such as doing the shopping and food delivery.

There are genuine charities and community groups providing support in the borough as part of the Norfolk-wide response to Covid-19, so people should ask for ID from anyone who calls claiming to represent a charity or support group, especially if they ask for money or bank details. People can also call the official support number 0344 8008020 if they are unsure. 

A Scam Prevention Service has also been set up by Norfolk's Police & Crime Commissioner, in partnership with Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care, and Norfolk County Council Trading Standards.

The service offers free and confidential specialist support to those who have been targeted by scams, and helps to increase awareness of scams in Norfolk. For further information, call 0300 303 3706 or visit

Cllr Carl Smith, the council leader, said: "These exceptional circumstances have brought out the best in our communities, who have pulled together marvellously in response, but has also, sadly, presented an opportunity for the worst in society to exploit the vulnerable.

"As part of the Norfolk-wide response, our Community Team have been calling our most vulnerable residents to offer reassurance and support, which includes delivery of food and medicine where needed. But no member of that team would cold call a resident and ask for their bank details or payment.

"All members of the Community Team, whether council staff, volunteers or from a community group, should be able to provide ID. So the message is: If anyone phones up or knocks at your door claiming to represent a charity, community group or the council, do ask for their ID, especially if they ask for money or bank details in return for a service. If you are unsure about their legitimacy then please call to check." 

If you think you have been a victim of a scam, you can report it to Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, at or call 0300 123 2040. If you feel in immediate danger, call 999.

Last modified on 08 July 2020

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