Conmen posing as coronavirus NHS testers to fleece elderly in their homes

Crooks are reportedly posing as NHS workers and offering coronavirus tests to vulnerable Brits for cash.

The criminals are offering advice on the COVID-19 outbreak in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, it is claimed.

They offer to help with shopping and afterwards ask for cash and cards, according to Twitter account Southend Trading Standards.

Daniel Cowan, councillor for St Laurence Ward, has also received reports.

He told the Essex Echo: "This is a scam to get money and/or card details from vulnerable people, often the elderly.

"Please let your friends and relatives know that the NHS does not go door-to-door offering advice and only to accept offers of help with shopping from KNOWN neighbours, friends and relatives.

“Do not give your card details or cash to anyone who knocks on your door unsolicited.

"I am utterly disgusted that people would use a public health crisis to target people in this way and hope that the police catch them swiftly and they are brought to justice.

"I have reached out to the cabinet, community safety team and Chief Inspector to ensure there is a coordinated approach to tackling these scumbags.

"Take care out there and keep an eye out for your vulnerable neighbours."

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Daily Star Online has approached Essex Police for comment.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK yesterday jumped to more than 1,500, with 55 deaths.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Brits to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres.

He said “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel” as he urged people to work from home "where they possibly can".

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Johnson added that anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days.

The PM announced the government will no longer be supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers.

Brits were also told to avoid any non-essential social contact and to shield the "most vulnerable" for 12 weeks.

  • Coronavirus
  • Crime

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