Updated: Sep 20, 2020
The NHS Test and Trace system has been set up by the UK government to help protect the public whilst trying to allow “normality” to return.
The Test and Trace strategy involves those who test positive for the virus being contacted by the NHS within 24 hours with instructions of how to share details of the people they have been in close, recent contact with.
These people will then in turn be contacted themselves and asked to isolate to help mitigate the spreading of the virus any further.
Shortly after the launch of this service, numerous posts on social media started reporting fake calls and texts being received claiming to be from the NHS Test and Trace team.
Two different forms of scams are prevalent in the reports. Most SMS reports, include unofficial links which will take people to sites controlled by the scammers, shown below. Whilst telephone reports involve being asked to share bank/card details to pay “one off fees” for the required testing kit.
Below is the official advice from the NHS on how the Test and Trace team will contact you. Any unofficial texts, calls and emails should be reported to Action Fraud.
How NHS Test and Trace will contact you
As stated by the NHS:
“You’ll be contacted by email, text or phone. Text messages will come from the NHS. Calls will come from 0300 0135 000.”
The NHS Test and Trace service will not:
ask for bank details or payments
ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087