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Personal finance reporter
People need to be alert to the threat posed by cyber-criminals during the Covid-19 lockdown, Devon and Cornwall Police have said.
With many more people working from home than normal, there was more risk of being scammed by thieves targeting weaknesses in online systems, officers said.
Nearly 700 people lost a total of almost £300,000 in a nationwide scam in March and April, after putting down deposits for pets they had seen advertised online.
Fake emails from HM Revenue and Customs about tax rebates because of Covid-19 have also been reported.
The cyber criminals are clever and they will use a hook to try and lure you in. If you work in healthcare, for instance, and receive an email saying: 'Act now and we can supply you with face masks'. That could be something you click on and then possibly fall victim to a scam."