Esther warns of Coronavirus scam

Esther McVey is warning people not to provide any payment details from fraudsters claiming to be from NHS Test and Trace – as scammers try to cash in on the pandemic.

The real system is part of Government’s efforts to stop the spread of Coronavirus by contacting people who have been in recent close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is free.

But scammers are blanket calling random numbers and claiming the person must make a payment and if they do not, they will be fined.

The Tatton MP said people need to be alert to the scam.

She said: “It is appalling that people are trying to use a pandemic to cash in. Sadly, this is happening and I would urge everyone to tell their older relatives or neighbours and anyone they think could be vulnerable about this scam. Fraudsters are clever they prey on people’s fears and they know people are worried about Covid-19 so they think they can get away with asking people to pay for a test.

“No one calling from the NHS Track and Trace system will ask for payment, they will only inform you of the contact with someone who tested positive and ask you to stay indoors.”

Scammers are trying to con people into paying £50 for a test and results and claiming if the person fails to comply, they will be hit with a fine too.

The official website is https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

Scammers can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

 

Contact tracers will:

  • call you from 0300 013 5000
  • send you text messages from ‘NHS’
  • ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website
  • ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-isolating
  • ask about the coronavirus symptoms you have been experiencing
  • ask you to provide the name, telephone number and/or email address of anyone you have had close contact with in the two days prior to your symptoms starting
  • ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England

 

Contact tracers will not:

  • Ask you to pay for a test
  • Ask you to download any software
  • Ask you to dial a premium rate number
  • Ask for any form of payment
  • Ask for details of your bank account
  • Ask for PIN numbers or a password
  • Ask for contact details of anyone you know
  • Ask you to visit any website apart from the official gov.uk site