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Scam text tells people they have been fined for going out during lockdown

The bogus message claims to be from the Government, saying it has been monitoring movements through a person’s phone.

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Example of coronavirus fine scam (CTSI/PA)

Example of coronavirus fine scam (CTSI/PA)

Example of coronavirus fine scam (CTSI/PA)

People have been warned not to fall for a bogus text message saying they have been fined for stepping outside during the coronavirus lockdown.

The latest in a series of scams related to the virus claims to be from the Government, telling the recipient their movements have been monitored through their phone and they must pay a fine or face a more severe penalty, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said.

“The list of new scams associated with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic grows by the day,” said CTSI lead officer Katherine Hart.

“I am appalled and infuriated at the ways unscrupulous individuals exploit this situation.

“We see new scams daily, and I would urge people to seek advice before replying to any messages they receive.

“Anyone who receives this text should ignore it. It is simply another ruse to steal the payment details of users.”

In all of these cases, do not click or tap any links that these messages ask you to.”

Police can order members of the public to go home or leave an area, have the power to disperse a group, using “reasonable force”, and can make arrests if someone refuses to comply.

Those who ignore the tougher restrictions could be hit with a £60 fine initially – reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days – and another for £120 for a second offence.

PA