Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Mans, said: “Many of us are relying more on technology to communicate and interact with friends, family and colleagues during the Coronavirus pandemic. Fraudsters know this, and they are turning to online scams to prey on those who may be unaware and vulnerable.
“Our Trading Standards Officers are alert to a scam on Facebook pretending to be the NHS Test and Trace Service – a system in place to help trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for Coronavirus. It’s important that we all work together to spread the word and stop fraudsters taking advantage at this time of national crisis.”
The scam involves:
A phone call claiming to be from the NHS Test and Trace Service informing the householder that they have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for Coronavirus; they need to self-isolate and take a test.
The caller refuses to disclose who the householder has been in contact with but asks them to confirm their address so a testing kit can be sent to them.
The caller then asks for payment card details to cover cost of the testing kit. The NHS Test and Trace service is free and 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.
Councillor Mans continued: “We are determined to do everything we can to protect Hampshire residents not from just this scam, but all scams. Please make your friends, family members and neighbours aware, as being forewarned can often mean you are forearmed.”
For further advice or to report an issue to Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service please phone our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 2231133.
If assistance is required outside of these hours, phone Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.
Citizens Advice has launched advice on Coronavirus scams, including a scam checker.