Gwent Police Cyber Crime Team has received reports of fake coronavirus messages claiming to be from official sources like the HMRC or World Health Organisation offering safety advice, tax refunds or similar, but including malicious web links or attachments.

To avoid these scams - either received via the phone, email or text - the advice is: don’t give out any personal information; don’t click on any attachment or web link, don’t use any contact information in the message itself. Verify everything via your own trusted method.

There have also been reports of a Facebook scam where people are contacted offering to help with Universal Credit claims.

Criminals offer to help claim £3,000 in minutes by obtaining personal details to set up another account in their name.

If you are contacted on Facebook or other social media platforms about Universal Credit, do not give out your personal or financial details. Verify by your own trusted method. Do not respond or use any contact information contained in the message itself.

Report these incidents to Action Fraud where you can get further advice -

Monmouthshire County Council has also issued a warning to watch out for fraudsters targeting the public with emails, texts, phone calls and WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for the coronavirus, as well as setting up fake websites selling products and offering ’cures’.

Scammers have also been setting up bogus websites asking for donations for victims or promoting awareness and prevention tips.

Cold callers have been contacting organisations suggesting they must have certain measures in place by a certain deadline.

To help members of the public protect themselves from becoming a victim of fraud, Cifas, The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service is advising:

â?¢Be sceptical if you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message about the coronavirus, and never click on any attachments or links

â?¢Never provide personal data such as your full name, address and date of birth

â?¢Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into donating money, and never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents like Western Union

â?¢If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.