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COVID-19 scam offers fake business grants

Business owners are being warned about a spike in bogus emails offering fake coronavirus grants.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said fraudsters are sending emails claiming to be from the Government.

One bogus email seen by the group offers the business owner a retail, hospitality and leisure grant worth £25,000.

The message asks the business owner to click on a link to enter personal information and payment details in order to ‘receive' the funds.

If the business owner falls for the scam, their details go to the scammers who deduct money from the recipient's account.

The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors have been particularly affected by the restrictions of lockdown following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Katherine Hart, lead officer at the CTSI, said:

"I have seen so many different kinds of emails, texts, and reports of doorstep and phone scams themed around COVID-19.

"I want to warn businesses that they should be eagle-eyed when receiving emails offering help, and never click the links in them.

"I understand this seems like good news, especially for businesses deeply affected by lockdown, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

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