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Avoiding Test and Trace scams

8 Jun 2020

Hertfordshire Constabulary is warning residents to be aware that scammers are posing as NHS Test and Trace contact workers.

The new 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.

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.

Contact tracers will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to purchase a product
  • ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.

Detective Inspector Rob Burns from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit said: “Whilst it is possible for criminals to fake official phone numbers, they cannot fake official website addresses. We would 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 you carefully. If possible, type the official address, which will be https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk followed by the unique characters given to you, directly into your browser.

“We have not had any reported cases of this type of fraud in Hertfordshire so far, but if you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk.”

Alternatively, you can contact herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call our non-emergency number 101. If a crime is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.

You can tell us what matters most to you about policing, crime or anti-social behaviour using echo. Go to bit.ly/herts-echo and have your say.

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