Protecting against test and trace scammers
On 23 April 2020, the NHS Test and Trace service was launched. Contact tracing works by asking people who have tested positive for the virus to share the details of others who they have been in contact with who could have caught it from them.
Under the new service, the NHS will only ever contact you for two reasons:
1. You have tested positive for the virus. If you have coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you must get a test as soon as possible. These are free and you can find out how to get one here.
If your test is positive, the NHS will contact you. In England this could be by text, email or phone, but in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the NHS will only contact you by phone. You will be given advice and asked about who you have been in close contact with.
You will be given advice and asked about who you have been in close contact with.
2. You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. The NHS will contact you - by text, email or phone in England and by phone in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You will be given advice and asked to self-isolate for 14 days, as will members of your household and support bubble.
If you are contacted for this reason you won’t be asked for any personal details or to pass on the details of anyone you’ve been in contact with.
Genuine contact tracers will only ever:
- Call you from 0300 013 5000, although caller IDs can be faked, so remain alert.
- Send text messages from ‘NHStracing’ which is a protected sender ID.
- Ask for your full name, date of birth and postcode.
- Ask if you have had any coronavirus symptoms.
- Ask you if you live in a household with other people.
- Ask if you work in or have visited a setting with other people.
- Ask you for the name, phone number or email address of people outside your household that you have been in close contact with recently.
- Ask you to only visit official government and NHS websites that end with .gov.uk, .nhs.uk or .gov.scot.
What scam contract tracers could do:
- Call or text from other numbers, or withhold their number.
- Ask for payment or try to sell you a product.
- Ask you to call a premium rate number (09 or 087).
- Ask for credit card or bank details.
- Ask you about passwords or PINs.
- Ask for your personal information, or that of your contacts.
- Ask you to download software to your PC or hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet.
- Ask you to visit web sites that aren’t official government or NHS sites.
What to do if you’re contacted by a scam contact tracer:
- If you’re speaking to someone claiming to be from the NHS, but they are asking you for information that is not on the list above, hang up. You do not need to explain why. Scammers rely on our good manners. Contact your phone provider as soon as possible.
- If you have been contacted by text or email, do not click any links, ring any numbers or reply. Contact your phone provider and make sure you use all spam filtering tools offered by your email service and/or Internet Service Provider.
- Regardless of how you were contacted by a scammer, report it to Action Fraud here. The more information you can provide, such as numbers and email addresses, the better.
What to do if you think you have given your details to a spam contact tracer:
If you have provided payment or banking details to a scammer, contact your bank straight away. Concerns regarding Al Rayan Bank accounts can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you provided other personal details, look out for unexpected bills or invoices addressed to you, and for unusual activity in your transaction history, such as purchases and withdrawals.
Also, report it to Action Fraud with as many details as possible.
Unfortunately, the threat from internet fraudsters is continually evolving. The best way to tackle these threats is to ensure you are always aware of them and how they work. You can find out more via the Al Rayan Bank dedicated page about fraud and security here.