Fraudsters have been posing as public bodies to try and con people out of money through coronavirus scams.

Hertfordshire Constabulary says several scams have been reported across the county, with fraudsters "using the current situation to take advantage of those who are most vulnerable".

One of the scams is through a fraudulent email claiming to be from Hertfordshire County Council, which asks parents of children who receive free school meals for their bank details.

Another scam reported in the county claims that people can donate to the efforts of the World Health Organization or the Center for Disease Control to combat Covid-19 by asking people to pay through a bitcoin link.

For the latest coronavirus updates for Hertfordshire, follow our live blog here

There have also been reports of a scam claiming that people are entitled to tax and national insurance refunds - which appears to have come from the Government website.

The scams arrive in email form or as posts on social media, with links to click for more information.

The county's police force also warned that people are receiving fraudulent text messages claiming to be from stating that the recipient has breached regulations and will be sent a fine in the post.

Police are urging people to stay vigilant of the scams.

Chief Inspector Sam Khanna from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber-crime Unit, said: “People need to remain vigilant during this period of change and confusion. 

Read more:

"Many people are sharing posts, advice and forwarding on attachments. We all need to be vigilant and remember not to click on suspicious attachments or links. Phishing scams aim to trick you into revealing your personal data or lure you to a fake website that looks like your bank or other online accounts. 

"Sometimes these emails or posts can be very convincing. Never click on links in emails or download attachments unless you are 100 per cent sure they are legitimate. 

"It’s also really important to make sure you keep security software up to date, always install the latest updates on your computers and mobile devices to protect yourself from the latest threats."

Below is a list by Hertfordshire Constabulary of what to look out for:
•    Getting an email or text out of the blue asking you for your personal or financial info? Don't take the bait! 
•    Messages asking you to "confirm" or "verify" your personal or financial details are a common lure used by criminals. Don't get hooked. 
•    Phishing reports to @Actionfrauduk show that telecoms companies, tech brands and Government departments are the most commonly spoofed sectors. 
•    Don't respond to messages or calls that ask for your personal or financial info. 
•    Create strong passwords using three random words. For example such as a fruit, a colour, and make of car i.e. Yellowappleford1! Use passwords with over 15 characters, using upper and lower case, numbers and symbols. 
•    Use a different password for every login and use either a password manager or if you don’t want to/can’t do that write them down if you can’t remember them. If you do write them down don’t leave your password list in plain sight.
•    Use two factor authentication wherever this is an option, which requires two different methods to prove your identity before you can access a service. This is usually a password and another method, such as a code sent to your mobile phone.