POLICE are warning Dorset residents to be on the lookout for fraudsters taking advantage amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Dorset Police alerted residents to one incident in which scammers sent a text message claiming to be the from HMRC, offering a 'goodwill payment' as a result of the outbreak.

"This is a scam - if you see it, do not click the link," a spokesman for the force said.

"In the last 24 hours, there have been 1360 websites registered that contain either corona or COVID in the URL. Scammers are gearing up to cash in on our concerns in a huge way.

"Please heed this warning from our colleagues. In a time where the government are pouring billions of pounds in to the economy, you really have to question why they would give everyone a tax rebate. This is just one of the scams we have seen.

"If you see a website offering refunds, cures, test kits, or even just information about the coronavirus, do not click. If you want advice about the coronavirus and how to keep yourself safe, only depend on the World Health Organisation, the NHS and the UK Government."

Be wary of any emails that offer information about the virus. Some are generic, targeting a wide range of people, and others are aimed specifically at organisations that form part of the health sector, or critical national infrastructure.

For more information see Dorset Police's website: www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/scams-fraud-cyber/cyber-crime/