Police were contacted after a fake letter was circulated in the Hunter Valley, threatening fines of up to $1000 for people not following social distancing guidelines.
The letter had included the letterhead of a shopping centre in Singleton, which has since confirmed it was unawre its name had been used in the scam.
The letter - headlined 'COVID-19: Non Compliance Warning' - stated that Singleton Square/Charter Hall had been utilising existing CCTV to monitor social distancing and that the recipient had been "non compliant". It said the images had been forwarded to police.
The letter said at this stage it was only a warning, but that it would continue to monitor all patrons for compliance during this very challenging health crisis. It also listed in dot point form recommended social distancing practices.
Singleton Square management first received notification of a letter late last week and have since been informed of others that had been sent out.
The letter was signed Sarah Holmes, MBA, STFH, Singleton Square Operations Manager. There shopping centre said there was no employee there of that name.
Singleton Square management put out an official statement this week alerting people to the scam letters.
Their statement read: "Over the past week the Singleton Square management team have been made aware of a fake letter doing the rounds. The letter is on a Singleton Square letter head and states concerns regarding individuals not social distancing when at the Centre."
Mitchell Phelps, Centre Manager Singleton Square confirmed the letter had not been authorised nor distributed on behalf of Singleton Square.
"Whilst our focus remains on ensuring all shoppers play their part in stopping the spread of COVD-19, we are very concerned that an individual, not employed by the centre, is distributing this letter. The police have been notified and are investigating. We ask that anyone that receives this letter, please contact the centre."
"Our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our shoppers and community and we support the State Government restrictions and guidance on all matters relating to COVID-19.
"We thank our shoppers for their cooperation in helping to stop the spread whilst visiting us."