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Warning to Crawley residents and businesses as criminals launch COVID-19 scams

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Both residents and businesses are being warning of a new spread of COVID-19 related scams that are being sent out via emails.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) issued the warning after it came to light that emails claiming to be from the government are offering a tax rebate to support people through this challenging period. 

Read More: Working from home with kids – Coping with the pressure

The emails, which look official, inform the recipient of the rebate amount and request that they click a link to receive it. At the link, the recipient is asked to fill in personal details, including their credit card number and address. These details allow the scammer to take money directly from the recipient’s bank account.

Other email-based scams include one claiming to be from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The email, which claims to hold crucial coronavirus safety advice, has an attachment which downloads a keylogger, allowing scammers to follow the online movements of the user, and gain access to their device and personal details. 

Citizens Advice (CitA) has launched advice on coronavirus scams. CitA has an excellent scam checker, and you can access it by clicking here.

There have also been multiple reports of unfair pricing practices on many in-demand goods, such as hand washes and face masks.

On this topic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) made a statement, which said:

“It will consider any evidence that companies may have broken competition or consumer protection law, for example by charging excessive prices or making misleading claims about the efficacy of protective equipment. And it will take direct enforcement action in appropriate cases.”

CTSI Chief Executive, Leon Livermore, said:

“It is abhorrent that unscrupulous individuals are using this difficult time as an opportunity to immiserate others further. Consumers should now be extra vigilant, and aware of these new scams that take many forms. The general rule of scams applies – if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

“CTSI is monitoring these developments and will update the public as we receive further intelligence. In the meantime, the public should follow the official government advice, and take all necessary precautions.”

Coronavirus

Breaking the ‘sex ban’ can cost a Crawley resident up to £3200

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It has been called the most farcical of rules but as the Government updated their coronavirus rules then so it has begun to sink in with media outlets across the UK that this is essentially a sex ban.

The amendments made to the rules say that no person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a private or public place indoors and consists of two or more persons!

According to the government this is to make sure people are not staying away from home at night. But the reality is very different.

If you have a ‘special friend’ or partner you do not live with and wish to have some ‘fun’ together then you are going to have to wait a little longer.

The fines start at £100 (£50 if paid within 14 days) but for repeat offenders it goes up as high as £3200.

Already #sexban has been trending on twitter.

But what is not clear is how the police, who are already over stretched, would even be able to control this?

One Bewbush resident commented on the news:

“So if I decide for some hanky panky with my girlfriend when she comes over am I going to be interrupted mid sesh with some plod stood over me writing a fine?”

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