Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride and Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez have issued a joint appeal to local residents to stay alert to coronavirus scams. Fraudsters have been using the pandemic to target vulnerable victims, such as pretending to be the NHS Test and Trace service or phoning people and telling them it is now a legal requirement to purchase a supply of facemasks and then seeking their bank details. 

    Mr Stride said:

    "Many types of fraud are sophisticated and seem very real. If someone contacts you never give out your bank details or make a payment of any kind and never give out details of other accounts such as social media. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you into parting with money or personal information."

    Ms Hernandez added: 

    "If you think you've fallen for a scam it is really important you contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via Many people don't report scams because they feel embarrassed, but as Mel said - they can be very convincing and every scam that is reported makes it easier for us to crack down on the criminals and help protect others. If you're in distress and want support you can also contact  where you can call or Webchat with someone 24/7."

    Citizens advice is currently in the second week of a national Scams Awareness fortnight; for more information visit

    Photo: Mel Stride MP and Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez are urging residents to stay alert to coronavirus scams (photo taken in 2019).