NHS Tayside has warned locals of a contact tracing text scam that asks people to pay to do a Covid test.
Scams have been common since the start of the pandemic, with fraudsters looking to profit from the public health crisis.
In a fresh warning, NHS Tayside said it had become aware of scam texts being telling people they are close contacts of someone with Covid-19 and advising them to order a test kit.
Similar messages have taken people to fraudulent NHS look-a-like sites where they are asked to input their personal details and provide payment for a test.
The NHS does not ask you to pay for test kits.”
NHS Tayside said: “We are aware of scam text messages telling people they are close contacts of someone with Covid-19 and advising them to order a test kit.
“Do not click on any links or share your bank details. The NHS does not ask you to pay for test kits.”
As well as contact tracings scams, other texts have circulated with links for people to download a coronavirus vaccine passport.
The texts are so convincing that the son of one of the UK’s top trading standards officers was almost fooled by it.
How to spot Covid scams
Trading Standards Scotland said there have been reports of Scots receiving texts or calls advising them they are a close contact of a positive case and that they need to pay money for a test kit.
While genuine contact tracers may text someone before calling, NHS Scotland says people will never be asked to provide financial information or payment for tests.
Calls from Test and Protect Scotland will also be made from 0800 030 8012.
Genuine contact tracers will never:
- Ask you for information other than your movements and the people you have been in contact with
- Ask for financial information such as bank or credit card details
- Ask for details from your medical records
- Try to sell you anything or ask for any payments or donations
- Ask you to set up a PIN or download anything
- Ask for your social media details, passwords or PIN numbers
- Ask for remote access to your computer
- Ask you to phone a premium rate number or visit a website other than NHS Scotland or the Scottish Government
Colin Mathieson, spokesman for Advice Direct Scotland, which runs Scotland’s national consumer advice service,said: “Unfortunately, throughout the pandemic we have seen attempts by unscrupulous fraudsters to exploit the public health crisis to gain personal information and bank details.
“Previous scams have included attempts to target the vaccination roll-out and the contact-tracing programme, as well as the sale of fake PPE.
‘Think carefully before sharing personal information’
“The NHS does not require bank details in relation to Test and Protect and there is no charge for Covid tests.
“We would reiterate the advice from NHS Tayside for people not to click this link or share their bank details.
“More generally, we would urge all Scots to remain scam aware, think very carefully before sharing your personal information, and if you think a message or an email involving NHS initiatives doesn’t look or seem right, then it probably isn’t.”