Warning issued as scammers look to take advantage of 'Armageddon alarm'
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Experts have sent out a warning that scammers will try and exploit the upcoming test of a new emergency alert system on 23 April.
The time and date have been set as 3pm on 23 April for pretty much every smartphone in the UK to screech out an alarm to test whether it works or not.
This sort of alarm is intended to warn people of disasters and other incidents which could pose a threat to life such as dangerous weather events like flooding.
It's something that plenty of other countries have introduced, but there's got to be a first time for everything and there could be some confusion caused by basically everyone's phone yelling at them for about 10 seconds.
Sadly it's in that confusion that scammers thrive, because they're a bunch of conniving, parasitic, money-grubbing meanies who like to exploit people for their money.
Experts have been warning that the nation's scammers will try something surrounding the test, with Which? scams expert Lisa Webb explaining that you don't need to do anything beyond acknowledging the alert.
"Scammers will use any hook they can to try and steal money and personal information from victims, and unfortunately the government’s upcoming nationwide test of its new Emergency Alerts system will be no exception," she told The Independent.
"It’s vital anyone who receives the official test alert is aware that no action is required. If you are asked to download an app or provide information, this is likely to be an unscrupulous fraudster trying to trick you and should be ignored at all costs.
"The government has said it will be including a website link with more information about the alerts in the message it sends out, but it’s worth considering looking this information up separately through the official government website rather than risking clicking on lookalike links from fraudsters.
"People can report any scam calls or texts they receive to 7726. If you or a loved one do fall victim to a scam then contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud."
If you really don't want to get the alert there are ways to switch it off from your phone if you go digging around in the settings.
The government has urged people not to switch off the alarm unless they need to, as there are certain people who would be much safer making sure they don't receive the alert.
Victims of domestic abuse who have a secret phone hidden away have been warned to turn off those phones for the duration of the test as otherwise they'll receive the alert and the discovery of the phone could put them in serious danger.
People are also recommended not to get into much online banking or make financial transactions around the time of the test as sending the siren out to everyone's phones could overcrowd the network and lead to some errors.