Residents are warned to not hand over cash or card details to anyone over the phone or on their doorstep claiming to offer services in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
In recent weeks, the number of reported coronavirus related scams in Dudley borough has continued to rise.
The council’s scams unit received a number of calls from concerned residents who have been targeted by scammers trying to cash in during the outbreak.
There have been of reports of people turning up on doorsteps and either claiming to be from the council or other organisations offering to clean their homes or food delivery services in exchange for cash in advance.
These people should be viewed with suspicion and should be reported to Dudley Council’s scams unit by calling 01384 818871.
They are highly likely to be scammers and residents are warned to not hand over any money on the doorstep to anyone they don’t know.
The council has also received reports from businesses, which have been contacted by organisations claiming to offer help with business grants and applying for funding from the council in exchange for bank card details to process applications.
Businesses can actually claim grants themselves by visiting the council’s website, www.dudley.gov.uk
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
"I can’t stress enough that if in doubt - don’t. We’ve unfortunately seen an increase in recent weeks of people trying to take advantage of the outbreak and target people and businesses who may be feeling vulnerable, desperate or struggling.
"Please always be cautious and remember there are legitimate organisations out there which are helping with food and medical deliveries and businesses who need support should talk to the council directly rather than through third-party organisations."
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.
Or if someone believes they have been contacted by a scammer they should report it to Dudley Council’s scams unit on 01384 818871 or via firstname.lastname@example.org