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Don’t be fooled by air-purifying scam

28 April 2021

Businesses are being warned to be on guard against a scam claiming that 'COVID-19 safe air purifiers' must be purchased as a legal requirement. 

The fraud was first highlighted by the National Anti-Fraud Network who were made aware of the scam in the form of letters that purport to be from the 'Covid Safe Taskforce', Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy. 

The letters claim that from 3 May 2021, all businesses have a legal requirement to buy the air purifiers. The devices are said to be £123.80 each and that businesses must have a minimum of two devices, up to a maximum of 10, depending on the business type and size of premises. The letter purports that a failure to purchase air purifying devises could lead to fines of up to £5,000.

Businesses are warned that this is a scam. There is NO legal requirement for businesses to install such purifiers.

Richmond Council is working to raise awareness of the scam to local businesses to prevent them from becoming a victim of this fraud.

Nick Steevens, Head of Regulatory Services for Richmond Council, said:

"In what has been an incredibly challenging year for businesses, we have sadly seen devious criminals taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to commit fraud.

"We are working hard to educate businesses on what they need to do to reopen safely. Any business who receives this letter, please be warned – it is a scam. Do not be fooled. If you receive this letter, please report it as soon as possible."

If you know of any similar fraud attempts email them to intel@nafn.gov.uk.

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Up to: April 2021

Updated: 28 April 2021