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Coronavirus: Warning to residents on scam calls claiming to be NHS Test and Trace

Shropshire Council’s trading standards team want to make residents aware of reports of a new telephone scam about NHS Test and Trace that is coming to light.

Callers are contacting residents saying they are from NHS Test and Trace, and telling the resident that they have been in contact with someone suffering from COVID-19, and need to have a test sent out to them.

This is then followed with a request for the resident’s bank details; the caller states that the test and results cost £500.

Currently, coronavirus test kits are provided by the NHS so they are therefore free of charge. The Department of Health and Social Care has spoken out about this particular scam, with Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, saying that legitimate calls would be “very obvious”.

Our trading standards team have been made aware of this, and want to urge people not to fall for this scam. If you need a test sent out to you because you are unable to attend a test site, this is done for free; both delivery and collection, followed up by the result.

Important! NHS Test and Trace will NOT:

  • 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.

Scam text messages often encourage the recipient to click a link that redirects them to an unsecured website where personal information may be stolen.  

NHS Test and Trace will only ever call from the number 0300 013 5000, or you will be texted from “NHS”.

Our trading standards team strongly advises you to take the following actions to protect yourselves:

  • Only purchase products from recognised and legitimate retail sources, and when it comes to medicines and medical devices this should be a registered pharmacy
  • Take a moment to think before parting with money, and consider what would be a reasonable price to pay for the product you wish to buy
  • Don’t be rushed into making decisions
  • Don’t assume everyone and every product that is advertised is genuine; rogues and scammers are well practised at the art of persuasion, and they can appear very professional and legitimate with calls often not being “very obvious” that they are scams
  • It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore requests from traders, whether this is someone calling you on the phone, standing on your doorstep or sending you an email.

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.

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Shropshire Council wants to keep you as up to date and informed as possible. To help us do this, we have developed a coronavirus update that will be sent daily at 8pm via email to anyone who has signed up to our e-bulletins.

This update includes the day’s key Shropshire Council news, and some key news from our partners, relating to coronavirus-linked issues. Please click here to sign up for the updates.

Please do encourage your family and friends to sign up to the updates too. This will help us keep everyone up to date with the rapidly-evolving crisis.