A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world.
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing.
Visit Dudley council for local advice.
West Midlands Fire Service COVID-19 update.
Visit GOV.UK for the latest information about the virus and the current situation in the UK.
Dudley Safeguarding People Partnership have put together information for talking to young people about Coronavirus.
The West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit have put together resources to support education settings.
Coronavirus and staying safe online
Everyone is being told by the government to say at home during the coronavirus outbreak to protect the NHS and save lives.
As we all begin to adjust to a new way of life, turning to technology for work, learning, shopping, socialising and fitness, staying safe online becomes even more important.
There’s simple tips to help you avoid scams below, in addition you should be aware of:
properly reading and checking information before you share it. Things aren’t always what they seem online so be careful not to share fake news
if you’re signing up for free trial periods on websites, including learning sites, make sure you fully read the terms & conditions so you know what happens when the free trial period ends
It’s also a good idea to talk to your children about how they can stay safe online especially when using social media.
There’s more useful information including how to be safe when social networking on our help hub.
You can also keep up with the latest community safety advice on twitter by following #safeindudley
Scam Warning Coronavirus scam costs victims over £800k in one month Action Fraud have issued a warning - Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where Coronavirus was mentioned, with victim losses totalling over £800k. Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers.
One victim reported losing over £15k when they purchased face masks that were never delivered. Reporting numbers are expected to rise as the virus continues to spread across the world. We have also received multiple reports about coronavirus-themed phishing emails attempting to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial information.
While many people are looking out for others in the community, a small minority are looking to profit from coronavirus. In recent weeks Action Fraud have seen reports about coronavirus themed scam emails attempting to trick people into revealing sensitive personal and financial information.
Victim support - has useful advice information for individuals and community groups to help keep you safe:
Protect yourself by making sure you:
Don’t click on links or attachments in suspicious emails
Don’t respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal or financial information
Research a company before making payments online and always use a credit card not a debit card
Keep in contact with loved ones
You can also report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad.
The police, or your bank, will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account. They will also never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.
Protect your devices from the latest threats
Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your phone from the latest threats
Bogus caller scam - alerts!
Dudley Council is becoming increasingly aware of bogus calls being made in relation to the coronavirus. The latest bogus call to watch out for is people going door to door claiming to be authorised by Dudley Council to offer cleaning services.
DO NOT let people into your home unless you are 100 percent sure you know who they are.
People who are genuine will in most cases call ahead to book an appointment first and will carry ID with them.
Anyone who suspects a bogus caller is operating in their area should call 999 in an emergency or contact the dedicated bogus caller hotline on 01384 812045
The alleged over pricing of goods is not a regulated activity that is enforced by trading standards.
The Competition and Markets Authority is monitoring for potential breaches of consumer law on sales and pricing practices in light of the current situation.
Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/competition-and-markets-authority
If you're making a purchase from a company or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. Where possible, use a credit card to make the payment, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.
Illegal money lenders
Loan sharks may seem friendly at first but it can soon turn nasty. They will take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak and people's financial concerns.
For help, advice or to safely report a loan shark.
Economic abuse and the coronavirus
The situation is changing rapidly in the UK as the government implements measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Recommended measures such as limiting social contact, not going to work and self-isolating at home can have implications if you are experiencing economic abuse. You may be worried about your physical safety and your economic situation.
This resource is designed to support your economic wellbeing and your safety if you are living with someone who abuses you. It also contains information on financial support that is available.
You are not alone, and support is available during these extraordinary times.
More information on economic abuse and the coronavirus.
Victims of domestic violence and abuse can access all available support services within the borough by dialling one number, the single point of contact (SPOC), on 01384 455411.
The number is open to victims, families and professionals and helps people get to the right service as quickly and easily as possible when support is needed. Find out more on our help hub.