RESIDENTS in Hampshire have been warned to be extra vigilant as scam callers will become more active over the next few weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

CPR Call Blocker, makers of the UK’s best-selling call blocking device, is predicting that fraudsters will be ready to strike if the UK goes into lockdown. 

Here are the top six active scams that people in Hampshire should watch out for: 

1. Police scam - You may receive a call from someone claiming to be a police officer or detective who convinces you to withdraw funds and hand them over to an investigator. They may give you a fake crime number and investigation details. They also convince you not to trust bank staff. In some cases, people are asked to call 999 or 101 to verify the call is genuine but the scammers keep the line open, so you are actually talking to them. 

2. Amazon Prime scam - You may get a call from someone claiming to be from Amazon Prime saying you’ve been charged for an annual subscription. They then tell you that fraudsters have hacked your account to authorise payment, but it can be cancelled if you press 1 and then give them access to your bank account in order to undo the hack. Amazon Prime would never ask you to do this. 

3. Bank scam - You may get a call from someone claiming to be from your bank saying there’s a problem with your card or account. They may ask for your account, card and PIN details. They may also advise transferring your money to a ‘safe’ account to protect it. A bank would never ask you to do this.  

4. HMRC scam -You may get a call from someone claiming to be from HMRC saying there is an issye with your tax refund or an unpaid tax bill. They leave a message asking you to call back. HMRC would never contact you in this way and ask for personal information and bank details.

5. Compensation scam - You may receive a call to tell you that you are due to compensation for a vehicle/work accident, and you are then asked to provide personal details and/or pay an admin fee to proceed.

6. Computer repair scam - An old one, but still very popular. Someone calls claiming to be from a well-known IT firm such as Microsoft to tell you your computer has a virus. They will ask you to download ‘anti-virus software’ which may cost but also turns out to be spyware, used to get your personal details. IT companies don’t contact customers this way.  

Chelsea Davis from CPR Call Blocker said: “If the restrictions are put in place in the UK, we predict that scammers are going to take advantage of more people being at home.

“We’re warning people in Hampshire to bear this in mind and strongly recommend never giving your bank details or paying for something over the phone that you’re unsure of”. 

If you think you may be receiving scam calls, here are a few ways to protect yourself: 

  • Don't reveal personal details. Never give out personal or financial information such as your bank account details or PIN - even if the caller claims to be from your bank. 
  • Hang up. If you feel harrassed or intimidated, end the call. You have the right not to feel pressurised. 
  • Ring the organisation. If you're unsure whether the caller is genuine, you can always ring the company they claim to be from. Make sure you find the number yourself and don't use one provided by the caller. 
  • Don't be rushed. Scammers will try to rush you into providing personal details. They may say they have a time-limited offer or claim your bank account is at risk if you don't give them the information they need right away.