Harrow Council is urging people to be vigilant of fraudsters exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to scam others out of money.

It reminded residents to be wary of a series of scams going around that involve people impersonating medical organisations, government bodies and the police.

According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), criminals are targeting people looking to buy medical supplies online, sending emails offering fake medical support and scamming people who may be vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home.

Others are using Government branding to try to trick people, including reports of using HMRC branding to make spurious offers of financial support through unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages.

Securities minister James Brokenshire described this behaviour as “reprehensible” and said the Government is working with partners to help protect the public.

Harrow Council advised people to follow the NCA’s guidelines when something seems too good to be true.

This means following the ‘stop, challenge, protect’ method – think before parting with any money or information, ask questions and contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve been a victim of fraud.

The National Economic Crime Centre said coronavirus-related scams are likely to continue and increase and urged people to be extra vigilant over the coming months.