2020-05-31 12:21

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Derek Maylor CWU H&S Officer Merseyside Warns Of Covid 19 Scams

Writing for Unionsafety, Derek Maylor Health and Safety T&FS Branch Officer for Greater Mersey Amal; warns of the need forus all to take care of our own, and the colleagues we work with, mental health due to the extra stress upon us all becuase of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally he warns of the scammers now using teh fear of Covid-19 and the track and trace schemes, to profit by robbing our bank accounts:

Mental Health Charities offer support to key workers:

Every member is different, some may have concern about contacting the virus and taking it home to their family, some may go home to an empty house with no-one to confide in. If engineers, or others, have concerns about this mental health. Leading mental health charities are uniting to provide round the clock mental health support to those working on the frontline against the Coronavirus. Mind, Samaritans, Shout, Hospice UK and The Royal Foundation have launched "Our Frontline", a combination of 1-2-1 support and online resources for key workers who are putting their mental health under pressure.

www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/toolkit/ourfrontline-keywork/

Government's Track And Trace System ( Currenty Not Fully Functional - Ed)

The service has been introduced to allow the NHS to trace the spread of the virus, isolate new infections and play a vital role in giving early warning if the virus is increasing again, locally or nationally.  

It is highly likely that scammers will make phone calls, send texts and emails pretending to be from NHS Test and Trace in order to obtain your personal details. Learn how to identify a genuine contact tracer from a scammer:  

Genuine NHS contact tracers will:

  • call you from 0300 013 5000
  • send you text messages from ‘NHS’
  • ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing
  • ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the 2 days prior to your symptoms starting
  • ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

Contact tracers will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

Charity partnership:

COVID Symptom Tracker app - The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the UK’s largest health-based charities are joining forces in order to reach the most at-risk groups, including those with pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma and those over 70 and those who have pre-existing health conditions. Both groups appear to be most at risk from the effects of COVID-19, yet are significantly under-represented in the group of people currently providing data through the app.

However, early analysis shows that the illness may start with different symptoms in these groups, such as diarrhoea and confusion, rather than the classic cough and fever. One of the biggest barriers to recruiting people with pre-existing health conditions and those over 70 was access to technology.

Developers at ZOE - the company behind the app - have now updated it to allow multiple user profiles, so that family, friends or carers can log daily health reports on behalf of anyone who wishes to take part in the study but does not have access to a smartphone.

Anyone can join the study by downloading the simple, free COVID Symptom Tracker app from covid.joinzoe.com and answering a few questions about their health and medications. Participants then spend a minute checking in every day, whether they are feeling physically healthy or experiencing any new symptoms.

Coronavirus Scams:

HMRC

Several Trading Standards offices want to warn people residents about a scam perpetrated by individuals falsely claiming to be from HMRC which has expanded from text and email to telephone calls as the Coronavirus lockdown continues. The HMRC-branded scam texts claimed that the government is offering lump-sum payments “as part of its promise to battle Covid-19.”

Each text specified a particular sum and asks the recipient to tap the link to a bogus website which requests payment details from the recipient. It is simply a means for criminals to gain access to bank accounts. Recently, this scam theme has expanded from text and emails to telephone calls from bogus civil servants.

This week, HMRC advised the public that all of these messages and phone calls are fake, with the government department advising the public that it will, “never text, email or phone to ask for bank details, PIN or passwords.”

Netflix

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has evidence of bogus emails in Netflix branding which asks recipients to update their payment details. The email advises the recipient to click a link, which leads to a fake payment page which takes the credit card details of the target. These scams will not be limited to Netflix people should also be aware of similar emails designed with competitor brandings such as Amazon Prime Video, Britbox, Disney+ and others.

Do not click any of the links contained in these emails and report bogus emails to Action Fraud and the company the scam message is using as cover. www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or 0300 123 2040 (press 9).



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