Scammers are pretending to be Red Cross volunteers and targeting vulnerable individuals, Essex Trading Standards has warned.
Vulnerable people are being offered help with their grocery shopping by people who take their money and do not came back.
Following reports on social media, last week the Red Cross also had to clarify that there are no real Red Cross volunteers offering coronavirus tests to the public.
Members of the public who come across this kind of scam have been told to call the police.
Essex Trading Standards' full warning
The Essex Trading Standards published the warning on its Facebook page: “There have been reports across the region (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk) of people pretending to be from the British Red Cross, knocking on the doors of elderly and vulnerable individuals, taking their money to do shopping – and then not returning.
“There have also been reports that cards are being put through doors with the British Red Cross branding, offering help.
“British Red Cross are NOT utilising a postcard system currently in connection to Covid-19 and any distribution of these cards locally needs to be reported to us via 0808 223 1133.”
Red Cross not doing coronavirus tests
Similarly, last week there were reports on social media of people pretending to be Red Cross volunteers and offering coronavirus tests.
The organisation published a statement on its website, saying: “We’re focusing all our efforts to protect the most vulnerable people in the UK right now, so we’re upset to have to write this.
“We’re really troubled to hear through social media that people are claiming to be Red Cross volunteers, and falsely offering coronavirus tests. To be clear: the Red Cross is NOT conducting coronavirus tests anywhere in the UK.
“If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be from the Red Cross, please ask to see their identification. We’ve reported the matter to the police. If you have any concerns, please contact the police too."