CONCERNS have been raised over new types of scams targeting vulnerable Dorset households during the Covid-19 lockdown.

More than 2,000 online fraud attempts have been identified and blocked nationally in the past month, according to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, including fake online shops and websites which attempt to steal user data, and fraudulent adverts.

It is estimated that scams cost the UK economy up to £10bn each year with the average victim losing over £3,000.

In response, OFTEC, the registration body for off-grid heating, is helping to raise awareness of the types of scams taking place during the lockdown and how households in Dorset can protect themselves from unscrupulous activity.

Malcolm Farrow from OFTEC, said: “Since the lockdown was announced, communities across Dorset have come together to support each other during this uncertain and unsettling time.

"Unfortunately, a small number of individuals have sought to take advantage of the current situation and target households through scams or other fraudulent activity.

"We all need to be on the lookout for suspicious calls, emails or visitors and regularly keep in virtual touch with vulnerable family, neighbours and friends to ensure they are not being harassed in any way.

"If you do need to have essential work undertaken in your home, always use a qualified professional.

"Check their ID badge upon arrival and ensure they follow the government’s advice on social distancing at all times.”

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