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Don't fall for corona cons.

EVERYONE's looking for the latest information on health, and how to protect you and your family from the coronavirus in these uncertain times.

Fraudsters have been taking advantage of the situation to try to trick people into spreading false information, and even parting with their bank details.

But it's easy to stay safe by following a few simple steps.

From the rumour that 5G is causing Covid-19, to the myth that sipping water every hour stops you catching it, misinformation is everywhere. Scams can pop up on your phone too, with fake texts supposedly from the Government, promising financial help or warning of a fine for breaking lockdown. Your first line of defence is to stop and think before you reply or hand over details.

So if you've been sent infor-See the SHARE checklist, Digital Secretary Oliver "Misleading claims about Government checklist to help you protect yourself from cyber crime Just take a breath - a moment - before you part with your money or personal information. it sounds simple - remember, there's no rush.

Make sure you're using the latest software, apps and operating systems on your phones, tablets and laptops, and update them regularly.

if you get an unexpected or suspicious email or text message, don't click on the link or attachment.

Don't be afraid to challenge anything you see as suspicious. It's okay to refuse or ignore requests for your money or details if you think something's not right - only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Remember - the police and banks will never ask you to withdraw money or transfer it to a different account.

Neither will they ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN.

You can check that requests are genuine by using a known number or email address to contact organisations direct. And if you think you have fallen victim to a scam, contact bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud.

Before you share... SHARE Think before you like, comment or share online and use the SHARE checklist to make sure you're not contributing to the spread of harmful content about coronavirus.

SOURCE Rely on official sources for medical and safety information. check the facts about the coronavirus on the NHS.uK website and GOV.uK.

HEADLINE Headlines don't always tell the full story. Always read to the end before you share articles on coronavirus.

ANALYSE Analyse the facts. if something sounds unbelievable, it might very well be.independent fact-checking services are correcting false information about the coronavirus every day.

RETOUCHED Watch out for misleading pictures and videos in stories about coronavirus. They might be edited, or show an unrelated place or event.check to see who else is using the photo.

ERROR look out for mistakes. Spelling and other errors might mean the information is false.official guidance about coronavirus will always have been checked carefully.

MYTH Vs fAcT MYTH: "if you go outside more than once a day, a PS30 fine will be added to your mobile bill."

FACT: Although the Government has advised people to stay at home, you can go outside for food, health reasons or work (if you can't work from home). Your mobile company wouldn't be collecting a fine.

MYTH: "if you're entitled to free school meals, send your bank details to receive financial support." FACT: This is fake and you never need to send your bank details via text or WhatsApp.

MYTH: "Hot drinks can help flush the virus into your stomach, where the acid kills it." FACT: This has been categorically disproved.

MYTH: "lidl are giving away a PS300 coupon for completing a short survey." FACT: Fake! Beware of phishing messages sent via WhatApp. Always check a retailer's main website rather than clicking a link.

MYTH: "The Army is making a giant lasagne at Wembley and delivering it to every home via drone." FACT: This joke did the rounds via WhatsApp, but sadly for pasta lovers it's not true.

For more info, guidelines and advice visit

I urge people to follow these steps to ensure they're not inadvertently spreading dangerous falsehoods Oliver DOWDEN, Digital Secretary
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 8, 2020
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