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Fears over ‘track and trace’ phone scam

Scammers have been exploiting the coronavirus situation, to prey on vulnerable people.

Caerphilly County Borough Council has received a number a number of reports of the same telephone trick – relating to the NHS “track and trace” strategy – being attempted. If you get a call that fits the following description, please hang up immediately. 

The caller begins by saying they are from the NHS track and trace service, adding: “According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for seven days and take a COVID-19 test.”

They are then told that they must be tested within the next 72 hours and will have to pay £50 for a testing kit, before being asked for their bank details.

One person, who got the call, insisted that if it is really the NHS, there shouldn’t be a charge. They were told: “I’m afraid there is. Can you give me the card number please – this is very important, and there are penalties for not complying.”

There have been further worrying reports that people in full PPE equipment have been arriving at front doors, claiming to be from the NHS, when in fact it is a distraction technique.

Cllr Sean Morgan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy, said: At a time when the NHS is trying to combat Covid-19 with the ‘track and race’ strategy, it is both worrying and disappointing that some heartless people are apparently using it to try to scam unsuspecting people out of money. Anyone who thinks they may have been targeted in this way, should inform both the police and the council’s Trading Standards team, to help stop it from happening to others.”

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If you are contacted by these criminals then please ensure that you report the matter either to Action Fraud on 03001232040, Citizens Advice Consumer Services Helpline on 0808 223 1133 (for Welsh language calls on 0808 223 1144) or Caerphilly Trading Standards on 01443 811300 or Gwent Police on 101.

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