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08/06/2020
Test and trace text scam

People are urged to ignore fake text messages claiming to be from the government’s test and trace service, which asks them to submit financial details.

Since the government launched the new NHS service earlier this week to control the spread of coronavirus, scammers have been quick to use it for their own gain.

A text message has been doing the rounds, which takes people to an illicit website where there are asked to submit personal financial information, which could then be shared with fraudsters for future scams.

People are urged to delete these messages and not click on the link included.

The test and trace service will contact people by phone, email or text messages but genuine text messages and emails will come from the NHS and calls from 0300 013 5000.

The only website people will be asked to access is https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/

At no point will people be asked for their bank details to pay for a test.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

"At a time of national crisis, when a lot of people may already be feeling anxious and vulnerable, it’s sad to think criminals will try and capitalise on the situation.

"The test and trace service is new so people may not fully understand how it works yet. One thing to stress is that the genuine service will never ask for bank details or ask you to pay for a test. If you have any messages claiming that you should, please ignore and delete immediately."

Anyone who has received a fraudulent text message can report it to Dudley Council’s scams unit by calling 01384 818871 or via trading.standards@dudley.gov.uk

More information about how the test and trace service works can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/nhs-test-and-trace-if-youve-been-in-contact-with-a-person-who-has-coronavirus/

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