Is it real: what to look out for if you think an NHS Test and Trace call or message could be fake.
The NHS and Police are warning people to be wary of scammers pretending to be from the NHS Test and Trace service.
There are several scams that the police fear fraudsters may use, one is to extract money from people who wish to take the test. There have been reports of people receiving calls from the NHS Test and Trace call centre to send out a test. The NHS representative asks if you would like the test sent to your home so that you do not have to wait in line, takes the correct spelling of your name, that of anyone else in your household, your date of births and your address. Then they will ask for payment for the test, some people have been asked for as much as £500 and others for postage and packaging of £9.99 as it is a next day premium service. The NHS service is free, and you should never pay for the Test and Trace service.
All of the scams involve conning people into handing over their personal details and contact tracing works by asking people who have tested positive for the virus to share the details of others who they have been in contact with who could have caught it from them. This is of course exactly the kind of information criminals want to trick people out of their money.
Do not follow any links via a text message always go to the Test and Trace website (at the bottom of the page).
This is what the NHS will do
How you’ll be contacted
- You’ll be contacted by email, text or phone.
- Text messages will come from the NHS.
- Calls will come from 0300 0135000.
- Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian’s permission to continue the call.
What you’ll be asked to do
You’ll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.
On the contact tracing website, you’ll be asked for information including:
- your name, date of birth and postcode
- if you live with other people
- any places you’ve been recently, such as a workplace or school
- names and contact details of any people you were in close contact within the 48 hours before your symptoms started (if you know these details)
If you cannot use the contact tracing website, you’ll be asked for this information over the phone.
The NHS Test and Trace service will not:
- ask for bank details or payments
- 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
How your information will be used
All information you provide to the NHS Test and Trace service is confidential.
No one who is contacted will be told your identity.
Anyone you’ve been in close contact with will be told to stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days. This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.