Warning issued for Essex residents after NHS Test and Trace scam

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 October 2020

Photo: Daisy-Daisy/Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Photo: Daisy-Daisy/Getty Images/iStockphoto.


Essex Trading Standards have issued a warning of a test and trace scam.

Callers claiming to be from the NHS Test and Trace service are calling residents asking for payment for tests.

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

Trading Standards stresses that the real NHS Test and Trace would contact you by email, text or phone call but no one would be advised to get tested unless they had symptoms, and if they do, they would never be asked to purchase a test or give their bank details.

People may also get an alert from the NHS Covid-19 app as part of Test and Trace. Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian’s permission to continue the call.

NHS Test and Trace will never ask for personal accounts details, to get you to set up a password or share a PIN number over the phone, or ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087.

Chris French, head of Essex Trading Standards, said: “Absolutely no-one officially contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team would be asked for payment over the phone or to pay for a test.

“We would ask residents to be vigilant if they receive a call such as this, not to give any personal information and report it to us straight away. Please also make sure older or vulnerable family and friends are aware of this scam so they don’t fall prey to it.”

Director of public health, Dr Mike Gogarty said: “The NHS Test and Trace service is a vital element in helping us stop the spread of coronavirus. I am disgusted that scammers are using this crucial service as a way to scam people, potentially putting people’s health at risk.

“People should not be discouraged from giving their contact details as part of Test and Trace.

“However, I would ask that they remain vigilant when receiving calls, check the telephone number and not give any information such as bank details if asked.”

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