The new COVID-19 Test and Trace system is being rolled out across the country, meaning contact tracers are now getting in touch with those who have had recent close contact with people who have had a positive COVID-19 test. However, it is important that people are aware that fraudsters are trying to take advantage of this process by posing as contact tracers and gathering personal information by deception.
The following information will help to identify if you are genuinely being contacted by the NHS.
Genuine contract 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 from the two days before your symptoms started.
• ask if anyone you have been in contact with is under 18 or lives outside of England.
Contact tracers will never ask you:
• to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087).
• to make any form of payment.
• for any details about your bank account.
• for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts.
• for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone.
• to purchase a product.
• to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet.
• to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.
Whilst it is possible for criminals to fake official phone numbers (number spoofing), they cannot fake official website addresses. The police encourage anyone with concerns about a phone call, text message or email they have received, in relation to Test and Trace, to check the website address being provided to them carefully. If possible, type the official address, which will be https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk followed by unique characters given to you, directly into your browser.
Never disclose financial information, password information or further personal details to anyone over the phone. If you are concerned about the process, check the details of the scheme online here: www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
If you or a person you care for have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime or targeted in this way and you or they are in Hertfordshire please call 101 or contact herts.police.uk/report
Alternatively, report it to Action Fraud, call 0300 123 2040 or via their website at www.actionfraud.police.uk/
If a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.