A NUMBER of scams have already been identified by the authorities as fraudsters try to cash in as Britain deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

Fake text messages purporting to be from the government, HMRC and even the NHS are asking unsuspecting victims to hand over their bank account details.

Meanwhile fraudsters are understood to have made calls to both home and mobile phones, offering free tests, a treatment and even a cure for COVID-19.

According to OFCOM, which regulates communications in the UK, it has been made aware of a scam text which claims to be from the government and offering a £458 payment related to COVID-19.

The text, which is sent from a sender called 'COVID' leads to a link which closely mimics the official gov.uk website and asks for your personal and baking details.

The Northern Echo:

This is Money has reported fraudsters 'spoofing' official government phone numbers to try and get their false texts to appear under official government communications.

One text message, which appears under the thread of a genuine government message, claims the recipient has to pay a £35 fine for leaving their home.

It says: 'We would like to inform you that you have been recorded as leaving your home on 3 occasions yesterday. A fine of £35 has been added to your gov.uk account. For further information visit - fake link - protect the NHS. Save lives.'

What to do if you receive a scam message or call

If you or a family member receives a call, text or communication that you believe is a scam official advice is to hang up or delete the text and report the details to Action Fraud.

To contact Action Fraud visit actionfraud.police.uk or telephone them on 0300 123 2040.

A spokesperson for Action Fraud said: "As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, unfortunately our contact centre is currently providing a reduced service.

"If you do need to chat to us, we have a small number of advisors on hand to help but please be advised that waiting times will be longer.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused. If your UK business, charity or organisation is currently under cyber attack and data is potentially at risk please call 0300 123 2040 immediately and press 9.

"You can continue to make reports of fraud in the normal way via the website. In an emergency always call 999."