While many people are pulling together during the coronavirus outbreak, there are others out there who are using it as an opportunity to target the vulnerable.

Today Powys Council released details of some of the scams that are going round in the county – and reminded people to be vigilant.

They include:

• People going door to door pretending to be coronavirus testers or to be from the Centre of Disease Control wanting to ask questions, in order to get into people's homes. Nobody, and particularly not the NHS or police, is conduring such a test, and if anybody comes to your door claiming that they are, call 999.

• Some people are sending phishing emails from people pretending to be from a trustworthy organisation – you should never give out personal information such as login or bank details, however legitimate the email may appear.

• Don't click links from email sources you don't know – it could leave a virus on your computer.

• Ignore online offers for vaccinations – these are false.

• Do your homework when it comes to giving donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants a donation in cash, by gift card, or by bank/money transfer, don’t do it.

• Emails claiming to be from the government offering tax rebates to support people throughout these unprecedented times are doing the rounds, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has confirmed. The emails, which look official, inform the recipient of the rebate amount and request they click a link to receive it. Recipients are then asked personal details, including their credit card number and address. These details allow the scammer to take money directly from the recipient’s bank account.

• There are also reports of several 'coronavirus update' apps, which claim to provide updates on the virus. These fake apps contains a form of 'ransomware', named CovidLock, which upon downloading, locks the phone and displays a message demanding that the user pay a sum of money to unlock it. These apps are available to download from various unofficial websites. Phone users are advised to only download apps directly from the Apple Store, or Android Play Store as these are safety checked by the platforms.

• Rogue traders have also been found to be selling counterfeit hand sanitiser and medical equipment, and, although not yet in the UK, other countries have reported illicit sellers offering counterfeit Covid-19 test kits. Please be wary and only by products from a reputable source.

Cllr James Evans, Powys Council's cabinet member for economic development, housing and regulatory services, said: “This is a worrying time for us all, and although our intention isn’t to add to people’s anxiety, we want to make sure our residents are fully informed of any potential scams doing the rounds at this difficult time.

“Unfortunately, there always seem to be a few people who look to take advantage of people at their most vulnerable, but thankfully these individuals are in the minority. It is heartening to see, that despite the uncertainty communities are rallying together to support one another through this crisis.

“All we ask is that you remain vigilant. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, so don’t take the risk.”

If you require any advice or assistance, call the council’s trading standards team on 01874 623420 or 03454 040506, or email trading.standards@powys.gov.uk