As the new test and trace service for coronavirus is introduced, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) reminds the public to be vigilant when sharing personal information, as fraudsters are using the system as a new route to scam people.
Under the new service, those who test positive for Covid-19 will be contacted and asked to give information on people they have been in recent contact with. Those people will then be contacted and told to self-isolate to help stop the spread of the virus. However fraudsters, posing as contact tracers from the NHS, are tricking people into handing over information such as bank details, social media passwords or making payments for fake or non-existent Covid-19 testing kits.
To help the public protect themselves, GMP has released advice on how to spot a test and trace fraudster.
Detective Superintendent Estelle Mathieson, Head of GMP’s Economic Crime and Cyber Unit, said:
“Fraudsters will always look to exploit people during a time of vulnerability, and currently we are seeing the uncertainty and change in normal life that Covid-19 has brought, as an avenue they are using for scams. The more advice and information we can give the people of Greater Manchester the better, so that they are educated and aware of what to look out for, and we reduce the number of people falling victim to scams in the first place.
“Real test and contact tracers will never ask for any form of payment or bank details, for you to dial a premium rate number or to access a website that does not belong to gov.uk. If someone contacts you via phone and you do feel unsure, ask for an email or text message to be sent inviting you Text and Trace website, and you can submit information that way.
“I would also encourage people to follow our @gmpfraud Twitter account to stay up to date with the latest scam advice.”
If you have been affected by this report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Find out more information about the Test and Trace service, by visiting www.gov.uk.