Chelmsford City Council

Protect yourself against coronavirus-related scams

There are currently numerous bogus emails and text messages circulating, appearing to come from official bodies, such as the government and the World Health Organisation. 

They contain links which are designed to download malicious software to your device, or to take you to a website that will collect your personal and financial details.

There are a variety of forms these emails can take. These can include:

  • offering a tax rebate
  • demanding payment of a fine
  • asking for donations
  • linking to a map of the spread of coronavirus

The advice remains the same. If an email is unexpected, you should not click on any links, but simply delete the email.

You should use the ABC approach:

  • never Assume they are legitimate
  • never Believe they are legitimate
  • always Confirm using a trusted number or asking friends and family

You can get further guidance on spotting scams on the Action Fraud website.

Official update regarding GOV.UK text messages

The government has stated:

"The government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK government are false.

Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. 

We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments, and don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details.”

If you receive any suspicious messages, such as the ones below, you should report them to Action Fraud.

Council Tax and benefits

The government does not deal with either Council Tax or Council Tax Reduction.

If you are entitled to any money, we will tell you and will add it to your Council Tax account. We will never ask you for your credit or debit card details to refund you money.

Coronavirus phishing text example

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    Last updated: 14 April 2020

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