POLICE have issued a series of tips and advice for people to bear in mind during the coronavirus outbreak – and to community groups who are offering their support to others.

In South Wales and across the country, there have been numerous examples of communities coming together and helping each other, particularly the most vulnerable.

But with reports from elsewhere in the UK of fraudsters and scammers trying to use the outbreak to take advantage of others, South Wales Police is raising awareness of advice which may help prevent people in our communities from falling victim.

· Only accept help from people you know. Similarly, operate community support groups in small blocks locally where you will be known to your neighbours

· Do not pay cash (for example for groceries) in advance, and don’t hand over your card for someone to visit the shops on your behalf

· Groceries should be left on your doorstep. Do not permit any ‘volunteer’ into your home under any circumstances

· If someone claims to be from a company or organisation, always ask for and check identification. If they’re genuine they won’t mind waiting while you check

· Check their credentials with the organisation they say they’re from. Find the number in a directory independently of the person on your doorstep

· Use a door chain to put you in control, and consider using password schemes

· Be wary of unsolicited emails trying to take advantage of the situation around coronavirus, and don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails. Don’t give out financial or other personal information unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with

· If you need help, contact appropriate and trusted organisations such as Age Cymru, the Royal Voluntary Service, Care & Repair Cymru or Citizens Advice

Chief Superintendent Stuart Parfitt, Head of Operational Support Services, said: “It is fantastic to see so many examples of a generous community spirit, and we want to encourage that to continue, while everyone abides by the latest public health guidance.

“However, we also want to pass on some advice to help keep everyone – and particularly the vulnerable – safe from the tiny minority who may try to take advantage of others’ situations during this outbreak by claiming to be offering support, while in fact acting with an ulterior motive.”

To speak to the police, call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

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