SCHEMING scammers are attempting to cash in on the current coronavirus crisis.

And local MP David Mundell has issued a stark warning for everyone to be on their guard.

Hoax telephone calls, emails and texts are being sent to householders across the country claiming to be from official government departments.

Police figures show that more than £600,000 was stolen from bank accounts by bogus callers during a six-month period in 2019.

And since the coronavirus outbreak, the levels of scamming have not relented.

Mr Mundell has warned that no government department will cold call and request personal details.

The MP for Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale told us: "I have been alerted by constituents to scam calls, emails and texts, wrongly purporting to be from the UK Government.

"Some are seeking bank details and offering financial help as part of coronavirus support measures.

"Official bodies would clearly not approach individuals in such a way and I'd urge my constituents not to respond with any personal information."

Scammers have also set up fake websites to sell products and offer so-called cures or testing kits, as well as requesting donations to help victims.

Police Scotland is also warning of thieves disguising themselves as Good Samaritans during the lockdown.

Social distancing and self-isolation mean more people than usual are in their homes.

And the restrictions present an ideal opportunity for criminals to take advantage of elderly and vulnerable people.

Chief Superintendent David Duncan said: “We are aware that community groups are being set up to help vulnerable members of our communities and we do not, in any way, want to impact on the good work being carried out.

“However it is imperative that we are all aware that vulnerable people can be seen as easy targets by criminals seeking to take advantage of this unprecedented and dynamic situation.

“Anyone can be a victim of doorstep crime – it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

"Criminals can be very clever, and play on your emotions and insecurities. If someone comes to your door claiming to be from a legitimate organisation, always ask for identification.

“Don’t give people money or your bank details if they come to your door and offer to do shopping for you if you don’t know them. And never give your debit or credit card and PIN to anyone.

“If you are self-isolating, let friends and family know and if in doubt about anyone offering services at your door, step back and take a few minutes to contact them for advice.

"You can also visit the Police Scotland website for more information.”