02/10/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Warning over test and trace scam

Related topics: Coronavirus / Health / Public protection

Shropshire Council is encouraging residents to be vigilant following reports of a telephone scam whereby callers claiming to be from the NHS Test and Trace service are asking for payment for tests.

Those being called are advised that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and are then told they must purchase a test over the phone.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

 “Fraudsters are constantly coming up with new scams to take advantage of people. NHS Test and Trace is a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19 and it’s alarming to hear reports like this during a pandemic.

“No-one is immune to scams and we are encouraging everyone to be on their guard. NHS Test and Trace will never ask for payment over the phone to pay for a test.”

The NHS Test and Trace Service will:

  • Call from 0300 013 5000
  • Send text messages from ‘NHS’
  • Ask people to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website 
  • Ask for full name and date of birth to confirm identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • Ask about the coronavirus symptoms
  • Ask people to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone they have had close contact with in the two days prior to symptoms starting (as with your own details these will be held in strict confidence and will be kept and used only in line with data protection laws)

 The NHS Test and Trace service will NOT:  

  • Ask you for payment
  • Ask you for details of card or bank account numbers
  • Ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • Ask you to provide or fill in social media login details
  • Ask you to download anything
  • Ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

If you have any concerns about trading practices relating to COVID-19 or any other issue you should report these to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.