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Havering police issue warning about Covid-19 testing scam

Members of the NHS track and trace service will never ask for payment details 

Police in Havering are warning people about a Covid-19 testing scam. 

It is after one resident was called by a person pretending to be from the NHS track and trace service. 

They have released a transcript of the phone call: 

Scammer: “Good morning, I’m calling from the NHS track and trace service. According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for 7 days and take a COVID-19 test.”

Resident: “Okay. Can you tell me who that person was?”

Scammer: “I’m not able to tell you that. That is confidential information.”

Resident: “Right. Um… so….” 

Scammer: “But you do need to be tested within the next 72 hours. So can I just get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?”

At this point the resident provided their address. 

Scammer: “Thank you – and I just need to take a payment card so that we can finalise this and send the kit to you.”

Resident: “‘Sorry – a payment card? I thought this was all free?”

Scammer: “No – I’m afraid not. There is a one-off fee of £500 for the kit, and test results. Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you’re ready.”

Resident: “‘No – that’s not right. This is part of the NHS so there’s no charge.” 

Scammer: “I’m afraid there is. Can you give me the card number please – this is very important, and there are penalties for not complying.”

The resident hung up the call at this point. 

“This is a scam,” a government tracer said. “There is no payment details of any kind taken by ANY of our teams.” 

“Please do not give out your bank or payment details to anyone saying they are from track and trace. Track and trace will only confirm details with you and offer advice, they will not ask for any bank or payment details EVER.”

Tracers will also provide people with a phone number and website where they can confirm who the caller is. 

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM


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