Scotland

Coronavirus: Warning over Test and Protect phone scam

scam call Image copyright Getty Images

Scammers pretending to work for the Test and Protect contact tracing service have been cold-calling people and demanding payment for tests.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon highlighted the emerging fraud during her daily media briefing.

She said the crime was "truly and utterly despicable" and issued a reminder that Covid-19 tests were free.

Trading Standards Scotland said it had received reports of people being asked to pay £500 to take a test.

Ms Sturgeon said Test and Protect staff would never request financial information or attempt to secure payment for tests.

They will only ask about people's movements and who they have been in contact with.

The first minister added: "Sadly there are always a small number of people, and it's a tiny minority, who will try to exploit any situation they can to defraud people and it's truly and utterly despicable particularly at this time of crisis."

Trading Standards Scotland said genuine contact tracers may first send a text to let the individual know that they will receive a call from NHS Scotland.

Further information

As well as establishing their movements, genuine callers will also inform people they will receive further information by email or post with advice on isolation and the support available.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Criminals will seize any opportunity to take advantage and we would urge people to remain vigilant against this type of crime.

"Test and Protect staff should not be requesting payment for Covid-19 tests, or any other reason."

She urged anyone who had been approached in this manner to contact officers.

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