Croydon Council and the Metropolitan Police are working together on widening awareness among local residents to prevent scams during COVID-19 restrictions.
The Metropolitan Police has been doing door-to-door visits to vulnerable and elderly residents to give them advice on avoiding scams and home safety.
Known as Operation Nogi, 15 police teams across Croydon, Sutton and Bromley are now taking part in the scheme, which also uses referrals from the council’s trading standards and adult social care teams to identify people at risk.
Examples of potential COVID-19 scams include:
• Illegal testing kits and poor-quality face masks being sold door-to-door
• Phishing emails or texts asking for personal or financial information
• Offers to buy shopping and not returning.
To report a trading standards concern, contact the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 on weekdays from 9am to 5pm.
If you know someone vulnerable and at risk of scams, call Croydon Voluntary Action on 020 8253 7076 or Age UK Croydon on 020 8686 0066.
To refer someone you know who might benefit from a visit from the Operation Nogi team, email the Metropolitan Police via SNMailbox-.OPNOGI@met.police.uk
“From home safety advice to providing fraud prevention tips, this partnership has already made a difference to the lives of some of Croydon’s most vulnerable residents. Operation Nogi is building on the excellent work that council teams including adult social care and trading standards already carry out to protect our older residents, and it is particularly important during this unsettling time due to COVID-19.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities
Chief Inspector Luke Mooney, from South BCU, said: “I appeal to the community for their support to ensure we are reaching everyone who needs our help. If there are people you are worried about, please let us know so we can include them in our operation to safeguard older people. It’s really important during unprecedented times such as these that we look out for one another, especially those who are vulnerable.”