WHARFEDALE residents are being warned to look out for a new Covid-19 related scam.

The scam involves people being sent a text or Facebook message or e-mail that purports to be from the Government and says they have a coronavirus-related ‘goodwill payment’ waiting for them - if they click a link.

If they do so they are then asked to input personal and bank details which is what the fraudsters running the scheme are really after so that they can steal money.

Fact-checking charity Full Fact says: “These links are scams. You should not click or interact with them.

“This sort of scam is called a phishing scam, which is where people pretend to be trustworthy companies or organisations in order to get personal information from victims.”

Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) was recently alerted to the problem by a local resident who had received the message. He said: “My advice is do not open such messages and delate them to be on the safe side.”

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), meanwhile, is warning the public not to open their doors to bogus healthcare workers pretending to be offering ‘home-testing’ for the coronavirus.

The alert comes as part of the Institute’s ongoing advice about scams and rogue practices related to the spread of the disease. Suspicious callers are reported to have been knocking on doors of elderly and vulnerable residents around the UK, claiming to be health officials who are doing ‘door-to-door testing’.

CTSI Joint Lead Officer for Doorstep Crime, Katherine Hart, said: “There are unfortunately people who are willing to take advantage of those who are most vulnerable even at this unprecedented time.

“Those who have been advised to avoid social contact to help stop the spread of the virus are particularly at risk of being taken in by these cold callers.

“Our message is not to open the door to anyone you don’t know or anyone calling ‘out of the blue’.”