23rd October 2020

Fraudsters pose as COVID marshals

Doorstep scammers are posing as official COVID marshals to gain access to people’s homes, it has emerged.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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Since March we have seen so many different instances of fraudsters using the pandemic as an opportunity to defraud the public

Criminals are posing as COVID marshals and medical professionals to gain access to people’s homes, according to reports received by CTSI. The scam is similar to earlier incidents this year in which  fraudsters would pretend to be healthcare workers offering fake COVID-19 testing kits.

Legitimate 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.

“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.”