Carolyn Harris MP warns constituents to beware of online scammers preying on the pandemic
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, is warning constituents to beware of online scammers preying on the pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased our reliance on the internet and the amount of time that people are spending online. The Swansea East MP is urging constituents to check out Citizens Advice Cymru’s website for top tips on staying safe online.
People are more vulnerable than ever to online scams, due to the unprecedented impact of the pandemic which has changed many of our interactions with friends, family, and colleagues. More people than ever are conducting routine activities online such as working and shopping. The pandemic has increased the opportunities that scammers have to target people, and new online scams are surfacing.
Online scams can be very sophisticated, and it is often too late before someone realises that they have been the victim of one. People are more worried than ever due to the pandemic, with concerns about their health, families, money, and work, leaving them more vulnerable to online scams, such as fake charities asking for money or illegitimate retailers selling fake Coronavirus tests.
It is important to empower people to protect themselves from online scams, by raising awareness of the issue, and providing people with the knowledge that they need to recognise an online scam and to act to prevent it. Organisations such as Citizens Advice continue to be available to help people throughout the pandemic, and anyone needing assistance should consult the Citizens Advice Scams Action Service online or by phone.
People need to be sceptical when communicating online; check that they know who they are talking to, research online to confirm that an individual is legitimate or that a company is registered, never send money or information to unknown entities, and utilise services which exist to provide online protection.
Carolyn Harris said:
“Online scams can be very sophisticated, so it is important that we make sure that people are aware of them and equipped to deal with them. Spam e-mails and suspicious online bargains have sadly become part of our daily lives, but the pandemic has introduced new online scams that not everyone is prepared for.”
“I’m urging people in Swansea East to be vigilant and if in doubt check Citizens Advice Cymru for their top tips on keeping safe online. They have pulled together some fantastic resources that I cannot praise highly enough.
“Online scammers seek to exploit people at their most vulnerable, and the pandemic has affected everyone. By working together, we can take action against online scams, and protect others from future harm.”
Contact the Citizens Advice #ScamsAction service online or over the phone: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/get-help-with-online-scams/