Staying safe with money and shopping

If you cannot go out because of coronavirus the way you do your shopping is probably changing. You might order your shopping online, pay someone you do not know very well to collect things for you, or get things delivered.

Here are some tips for paying safely and reducing the risk of infection with deliveries. 

Paying for things online

If you do not shop online and you’re trying it for the first time because of coronavirus, here are some important things to do to stay safe:

  • Only shop with places you know and trust.
  • Make sure that the website address (also known as a URL) starts with ‘https’. The ‘s’ stands for secure.
  • Look for a padlock icon in your browser, near the website address.

Find out more about paying online

Paying people who collect shopping for you

If you’re paying a neighbour or a volunteer to get your shopping for you, here’s what to do to stay safe:

  • Only ask them to do small bits of shopping – keep it to £30 or less.
  • Do not give them your card and PIN, your cheque book or bank details.
  • Pay in cash. Leave it in an envelope or container. Do not hand it to them as this puts you at risk of catching the virus.
  • You can buy gift cards on supermarket websites and give them to whoever is helping you to pay.
  • You can also pay with a bank transfer to the person helping you. Speak to your bank if you’re not sure how to do this.
  • If you have run out of cash, your bank might be able to deliver cash to you. Call them to find out more. 
  • If you have a Post Office Card Account for your your pension, benefits or tax credits and are on the list of vulnerable people who need to stay at home, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Post Office may be able to deliver cash to you. The Department for Work and Pensions will contact you directly to speak to you about this if you are eligible.

Staying safe with deliveries

If someone is delivering or dropping something off for you, here are some tips for making sure you do not put your health at risk:

  • Do not let them in your house, or go out and get things from them. Stay two meters (six feet) apart.
  • Ask them to leave the delivery on your doorstep and then knock or call you to let you know it’s there.
  • You do not need to disinfect your food packaging.
  • You should wash your hands after unpacking your shopping, or touching any packages.

Avoiding scams

There are some coronavirus scams going around. Here’s how to avoid them:

  • If someone knocks at your door, do not let them into your house. Make sure they stay two meters (six feet) away from you.
  • Do not automatically trust emails, text messages or phone calls. Scammers will often pretend to be from your bank, phone company, the NHS or another organisation you trust. Call the organisation yourself from the number on your bill or on their website to check what you’ve been told.
  • Do not give anyone your logins, passwords, or bank details.

Find out more about scams