Scam text tells people they have been fined for going out during coronavirus lockdown

Example of coronavirus fine scam Credit: CTSI/PA

People have been warned not to fall for a scam text message saying they have been fined for stepping outside during the coronavirus lockdown.

The bogus text - the latest in a series of scams related to the virus - claims to be from the Government.

It tells the recipient their movements have been monitored through their phone and they must pay a fine or face a more severe penalty, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) warned.

Police have been given powers to fine - or even arrest - individuals flouting strengthened lockdown measures.

CTSI lead officer Katherine Hart said the number of Covid-19 related scams are growing by the day.

"I am appalled and infuriated at the ways unscrupulous individuals exploit this situation," she said.

"We see new scams daily, and I would urge people to seek advice before replying to any messages they receive.

"Anyone who receives this text should ignore it. It is simply another ruse to steal the payment details of users."

The Government sent out one official text announcing the new measures of the lockdown. Credit: PA

Ms Hart advised the public not to "click or tap on any links" in potential scam messages.

On Thursday, the Home Office granted police forces powers to order members of the public to go home or leave an area.

Officers can also order groups to disperse using "reasonable force", and can make arrests if someone refuses to comply.

Those who ignore the tougher restrictions could be hit with a £60 fine initially and another for £120 for a second offence.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know: