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Bristol City Council warns of scammers offering to shop for elderly during coronavirus lockdown

Bristol City Council is warning people of an increasing number of scams during the coronavirus lockdown.

Residents have reported that thieves masquerading as charity volunteers have knocked on the doors of elderly and vulnerable people, offering to do their shopping, taking their money and then never returning.

It is very sad and distressing to hear that some people are taking advantage of this vulnerable situation. We’re keen to make sure that people in the area do not fall victim to scammers, losing money or personal possessions.

Our advice is to ask someone you know, like a family member, neighbour or friend to get essential goods for you if you’re self-isolating. If you’re worried you’ve been approached with a scam on your doorstep, contact the police on 999 or 101 for non-emergencies.

– Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

The Trading Standards team is also currently receiving a high number of calls about businesses and retailers charging inflated prices for certain goods, such as hand sanitisers.

The city council is also warning that a number of coronavirus scam emails have been circulating. One claims to be from the Government offering a tax rebate and asks the recipient to enter their bank details.

The trading standards team also say fraudsters are sending details of investment schemes and trading advice, encouraging people to capitalise on the coronavirus downturn.

If someone is trying to charge you a higher price than what is being advertised, this is not allowed, as the law prohibits it. The advertised price is the price you should be charged.

We’d also recommend that people purchase hand sanitiser from legitimate suppliers, and to always read the label, as we’re aware that a number of unauthorised products have recently entered the market.

– Sarah Davey, Trading Standards