COVID-19 Scams, Advice and Guidance
Consumer advice in Scotland is supplied by the Scottish Government's provider consumeradvice.scot. A specific page has been set-up for consumer issues, with advice on travel, events, deliveries & online issues as well as information on planning for shortages and price changes.
For more general advice see Citizens Advice Scotland.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has issued various warnings on behalf of the profession .
For a statement on sales and pricing practices during the Coronavirus outbreak, see the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) . Use their online form to report concerns about a business you believe is behaving unfairly during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak including price gouging.
The CMA announced they are to investigate cancellation policy concerns initially focusing on 3 sectors of concern:
- Weddings and private events
- Holiday accommodation
- Nurseries and childcare providers
Should you wish to purchase product such as hand sanitisers from a source that is not mainstream please be advised that such products may not contain ingredients that have been tested to be safe for you, and the final product may not give the desired effect intended.
Consumers who have had accommodation and other holiday bookings in the UK (cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions forcing businesses to close) may have a range of options to assist them. For details see our advice to business.
Consumers who have booked flights should review the advice from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The European Commission has also issued passenger rights advice. This remains valid during the transition period.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute have also issued some FAQs on the topic .
Consumers who have concerns regarding an insurance product can find helpful information from the Financial Conduct Authority .
Any dispute that a consumer has with financial products and services including insurance, credit/debit cards, banking, mortgages, loans and other credit can be raised with the Financial Ombudsman Service . This is free-to-use and a highly regarded dispute resolution system.
How to Stay Safe at Home during the Coronavirus Pandemic
As we all adjust to staying at home more often it is worth taking a few minutes to consider how you and your family will stay safe at home during this difficult time. Below you will find links to useful information to help you stay safe at home.
Cyber Aware is the UK government's advice portal on how to stay secure online including during coronavirus.
Get to know some of the most common scams and fraud techniques in The Little Book of Big Scams and The Little Book of Cyber Scams these techniques are being used by scammers during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) are currently running a campaign, Accident Free Avoid A&E. This campaign will run for as long as social distancing measures are in place. They have tried-and-tested advice, information and practical resources to help you keep yourselves and your loved ones accident free, however young or old they are and whatever they’re doing.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have fire safety information and advice on staying safe at home .
Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) have a number of safety campaign materials especially useful to help stay safe at home including e-cigarette battery safety, blind cords, button batteries and reacting to product recalls.
Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has useful information and guidance on how to protect your health when buying medicines online and avoiding fake medicines and medical devices.
Age Scotland is the national charity for older people and have compiled advice for older people and their families on how to avoid exposure to the virus, as well as actions we can all take to help each other.
Young Scot have lots of advice and guidance for young people aged 11-26 on staying safe during the coronavirus lockdown.