Test and Trace be #ScamAware
Published: 8 June 2020
The Government has announced plans to launch the NHS Test and Trace service to help fight the spread of coronavirus. The service will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.
Sadly, Trading Standards teams in Derby and across the country are preparing for scammers to take advantage of the system to defraud people by claiming to be calling from the NHS Track and Trace service and asking for money or personal information. Trading Standards would like to remind residents to remain vigilant and #ScamAware throughout this challenging time.
One such scam has already been reported. The scam callers claim to be from the NHS Test and Trace Service and advise that the recipient has been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and that they must be tested within 72 hours. The caller asks for the recipient’s postal address for an at home testing kit to be sent to them. The caller advises that the test kit costs £500 and the recipient is asked for their bank details to pay.
The NHS has issued guidance for anyone receiving a call to reassure them it is genuine.
The NHS website confirms that:
- You may be contacted by email, text or phone
- Text messages will come from the NHS
- Calls will come from the phone number 0300 013 5000
- You will be asked to sign into the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk. All other websites will be fake
The NHS Test and Trace service will not:
- Ask for bank details or payments, as the service is free
- Ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
- Ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
- Ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
- Ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
- Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
Various types of scams have been reported nationally throughout this pandemic and have been reaching people through numerous channels including on the doorstep, by telephone, through social media quizzes (data harvesting), by text and email.
More information about the outbreak of scams can be found on the Chartered Trading Standards Institute website here.
Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Communities, Neighbourhoods and Streetpride said:
It’s very sad that we have to put out this kind of warning but unfortunately there are those in our society who will take advantage of this terrible situation to attempt to scam vulnerable people who may be frightened about their health or doing their civic duty in keeping others safe. I urge everyone to take note of the guidelines from the NHS and to be aware if they are contacted.
If residents have any concerns they can:
- Report issues to Trading Standards and obtain consumer advice by calling 0808 223 11 33 (Citizens Advice and Consumer Service)
- Report phishing scams and fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 (Action Fraud)
Please note that these services are also experiencing disruption and online forms can also be submitted on the above organisations websites directly.