Police Warn Fake Covid Marshals Are Scamming Residents
People are being warned about fake Covid marshals who are using the pandemic to get access to their homes.
Police and Trading Standards have had numerous incidents reported where doorstep fraudsters have conned people to steal from them.
Bedfordshire Police warned the public after two men tried to gain entry to a house in Dunstable last month.
The pair said they had been told to go to people’s homes to check coronavirus guidelines were being adhered to, but when they were asked for ID, they didn’t have any.
The owner wouldn’t let them in and kept the security chain on the door but one of them stopped the door with his foot.
They eventually left when they were refused entry again, police said.
Experts have warned the public that marshals will never turn up unannounced.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has received other similar reports.
Katherine Hart, CTSI’s lead officer for doorstep crime, said these scams could increase over time.
She said: “These scams are shifting in their theme as the rules and regulations change with individuals now pretending to be Covid-19 secure marshals.
“Covid-19 secure marshals will never come to your door unannounced and do not have the right of entry or the right to issue fines.
“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.”
Police Force Uses Siren From The Purge To Warn Residents About Curfew
With many losing their jobs as a result of the pandemic, new roles as Covid marshals have been some people’s only option.
The job description includes to ‘ensure the management and monitoring of all procedures implemented to deal with Covid-19 on an ongoing basis,’ including social distancing measures, keeping an eye out for large groups and helping companies keep their customers safe.
The role is to go to places of interest – the seafront, beach, pubs, other popular establishments. Covid marshals have to check that seating is correctly spaced and ensure Test and Trace is enforced.
Ash, 49, from Devon is a Covid marshal, having lost his job as a security guard.
Speaking to , he said: “I feel like it is giving the elderly generation a lot more peace of mind about going out, doing their day to day things.
“But I think within the younger generation they just see me as they do a SIA, a party pooper. It has to be done so we can all crack on with our lives.
“I’ve had to take on this role, it wasn’t a preference but I have to put food on the table for my two young boys.”