A NEW scam text purporting to be from the government which informs recipients that they have been issued a fine for leaving the house during the lockdown is doing the rounds.

The message claims to be from the government and tells the recipient it has monitored their movements through their phone.

The text, which has various iterations, is a "ruse to steal the payment details of users," Katherine Hart, the The Chartered Trading Standards Institute Lead Officer said.

One example, posted by West Mercia Police, reads:


"It has come to our attention that you have been out of the house more than once," the text reads.

"Due to this irresponsible behaviour, we are issuing you a formal warning and a £250 fine.

"Payment will be taken automatically out of your account."

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It comes as the government sent text messages asking people to stay inside, with Downing Street confirming they have only sent out one text message.

The public has been warned that this message is "entirely fraudulent".

Barry And District News:

(Do not call the number, or click on any link sent out. Picture: West Mercia Police.)

Ms Hart added: "The list of new scams associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic grows by the day. I am appalled and infuriated at the ways unscrupulous individuals exploit this situation.

"We see new scams daily, and I would urge people to seek advice before replying to any messages they receive."

"This latest text scam issues a fake fine which tells the recipient to pay a fine or face more severe action.

"Anyone who receives this text should ignore it. It is simply another ruse to steal the payment details of users. In all of these cases, do not click, or tap any links that these messages ask you to."