Scammers target Scotland’s new contact tracing app
Warnings have been issued as criminals exploit the new NHS Protect Scotland mobile phone app.
Scotland’s Neighbourhood Watch network has highlighted the problem after reports of attempted scams around the country.
The app will alert users if they have been in close contact with another user who tests positive for coronavirus, and can help in determining contacts that people may have. If anyone is contacted by NHS (test and protect) it will be by phone on a single national telephone number 0800 030 8012.
Willie Clark Neighbourhood Watch national co-ordinator, said: ‘Scammers are now exploiting this to commit fraud by contacting the general public advising them that they have been in near contact with someone who has tested positive with coronavirus and as such you must get a test and self-isolate.
‘They then ask for payments for booking tests or sending out testing kits.’
What NHS Scotland contact tracers will do is, in some cases, send a text to let users know that they will be receiving a call from NHS Scotland using the single, national telephone number.
They will always introduce themselves, say why they are contacting a user, and address the user by name as well as giving them the option to call back on the above number to provide reassurance that the service is legitimate.
Mr Clark added: ‘Be aware that phone numbers can be spoofed. Consider phoning back using a different phone from the one you received the call on. The call will be received on mobile, if concerned phone back on landline.’
Contact tracers will never ask for information other than the user’s movements and the people they have been physically close to; they will NOT ask users to phone a premium rate number; make a purchase, payment or donation; for medical history unrelated to coronavirus for bank details; for social media identities or login details, or those of contacts; for passwords or PIN numbers, or to set up any form control of a computer, smartphone or tablet, or to download anything or to visit a website that does not belong to NHS Scotland or the Scottish Government.
For more go to www. nhsinform.scot/campaigns/ test-and-protect