HAMPSHIRE police have issued some tips on how to avoid scams as crime gangs look to exploit the coronavirus outbreak.

Hampshire Constabulary have released a number of tips for residents on how to avoid being defrauded of their money.

As previously reported, the National Crime Agency (NCA) announced earlier this week that crime groups could use the pandemic to target vulnerable people.

A spokesperson from Hampshire Police said: "Looking after yourselves, elderly and vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives is the main importance right now and with the advice from Trading Standards about how to do this it should make things a little easier and reassuring for us."

Fake coronavirus testing kits are currently being sold online, at this present time, tests cannot be bought and any tests on sale will be fake.

Tests are not being offered at home and any callers at the door, offering ‘home-testing’ for Coronavirus will be fraudulent.

Do not allow people into your home, even if they claim to be the Council carrying out a deep clean.

Fake face masks, hazard suits and gloves claiming to protect from Coronavirus will not give the protection promised.

There have been reports of an email or text messages claiming to be from HMRC or other organisations offering a ‘goodwill payment’ or a tax rebate will be phishing attempts.

An example would be: “As Part of the NHS promise to battle the COVID- 19virus, HMRC has issued a payment of £258 as a goodwill payment. Follow link to apply”. Do not follow such links.

There are new mobile phone apps that claim to give you updates on the virus, instead they lock your phone and demand a ransom.

Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.

Certain products, such as toilet rolls, hand sanitiser and hand wash can be difficult to get hold of because of panic buying. Unscrupulous people are selling such items at inflated prices.

Trading Standards are interested in knowing who is selling such items.