Fraudsters are exploit coronavirus concerns to con people from their money, North Yorkshire Police has warned.
The force wants people to be aware that these scams are on the rise.
Since February 2020, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified 21 reports of fraud where coronavirus was mentioned in Britain, with victim losses totalling over £800k.
Ten of these reports were made by victims that attempted to purchase protective face masks from fraudulent sellers.
Fraudsters are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive personal and financial details.
Fraudsters, purporting to be from legitimate organisations affiliated with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation (WHO), are contacting potential victims over email.
They claim to be able to provide the recipient with a list of coronavirus infected people in their area. In order to access this information, the victim needs to click on a link, which leads to a malicious website, or is asked to make a payment in Bitcoin