The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has received reports of incidences involving people pretending to be COVID marshals and medical professionals to gain access to people’s homes.
This particular version of the scam is an updated form of one witnessed during the pandemic in the summer involving fake healthcare professionals offering bogus COVID-19 tests to gain access to homes.
The marshals, officially called COVID-19 secure marshals, do not have the power to enforce social distancing, issue fines, or the right to enter homes.
Katherine Hart, CTSI’s Lead Officer for Doorstep Crime, said: “Since March we have seen so many different instances of fraudsters using the pandemic as an opportunity to defraud the public. These scams are shifting in their theme as the rules and regulations change with individuals now pretending to be COVID-19 secure marshals.
“COVID-19 secure marshals will never come to your door unannounced and do not have the right of entry, or the right to issue fines. This type of scam appears in many forms, and I have also received information about individuals pretending to offer flu vaccinations on the door – a concerning development as we enter flu season.
“I am particularly concerned that elderly and vulnerable individuals may be at risk to this scam. I ask the public and public authorities to spread the correct safeguarding information so that we can stop these unscrupulous individuals from ruining the lives of those already struggling during this challenging time.”