A chilling NHS “Track and Trace” phone scam is reportedly circulating the UK, targeting people’s fear of the deadly COVID19 virus.
Last week, the UK’s test, track and trace program was amped up, with the rolling out of the NHS’s Contact-tracing program. Yesterday, Matt Hancock advised that if they have been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 a contact-tracer may be in touch, it is currently is unclear how the tracing process works. The government had announced an “NHS app” which would aid the contact-tracing process but as of yet, the app is ‘still in testing’.
A transcript of the call describes how the victim recieved a call that started by saying “Good Morning, I am calling from the NHS track and trace service. According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for 7 days and take a COVID-19 test”.
Quickly, the call moved on to taking the potential victims address, so they could be sent a Coronavirus testing kit. The potential victim was suprised when they were asked for their Bank Card’s long number, so a £500 payment could be taken to cover the costs of the test kit.
Currently, the NHS’s COVID-19 testing is free. This is an NHS service. Do not fall for this scam!
COVID-19 related scams are not new, with charities warning the public on what to look for and how to protect themselves against online and offline scams.
The Neighbourhood watch organisation warns that “Scams can be committed over the phone, through the post, on the internet or face-to-face, often on the doorstep” and that a disproportionate amount of elderly and vulnerable people are the target of scams. If you know anyone who may be vulnerable to scams, the Neighbourhood watch’s website provides invaluable information which can be used to protest from scammers.
“Always question uninvited approaches, in case it’s a scam. This applies whether the contact is on the doorstep, over the phone, by post or online. Instead, contact the company directly yourself using a known email or phone number.” https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/crime-prevention/crime-prevention-toolkits/scams/scams-older-people