A warning has been issued as heartless scammers try to cash in on the coronavirus crisis.
Trading Standards are telling people to watch out for hoax texts and emails from criminals pretending to be from the HMRC, claiming to offer a coronavirus tax rebate.
It comes at a time when the Government has announced a raft of measures to help people stay financially afloat during the crisis.
In a tweet today Trading Standards warned people against being duped.
"We are aware of emails claiming to be from HMRC offering tax rebates as a result of #coronavirus," the authority said. "If you receive an email, text or call claiming to be from us that asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam."
Elsewhere crooks have been targeting the elderly and vulnerable people by offering fake COVID-19 cures and testing kits. Some scam artists have set up hoax websites claiming to sell coronavirus cures or testing kits, which also ask for money.
Lord Toby Harris, chairman of National Trading Standards (NTS), has condemned scammers for trying to exploit a national crisis.
In a statement, he said: "At a time when neighbourhoods and communities are coming together to support each other, it is despicable that heartless criminals are exploiting members of the public – including some of our most vulnerable citizens – to line their own pockets.
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"I urge everyone to be on their guard for possible COVID-19 scams and to look out for vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may become a target for fraudsters.
"We're calling on communities to look out for one another. If you see anything suspicious, report it to Action Fraud or to speak to someone for advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service."
A new campaign, Shut Out Scammers, has also been launched to help people stay safe in Scotland.
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