Test and Trace Scam – here in Somerset now!

It is not always easy to know when scams running around social media are real or not. Here at Leveller® Towers we have a foolproof (OK nothing is foolproof) method of checking. We wait for the scammers to pick on one of us – and then let you know.

We are used to the Your Accident Compensation and variants of it. Recently though we received a text with website links all looking very genuine. Of course it wasn’t. However most people are now aware and wary of these schemes.

Likewise, half way through lockdown another old favourite emerged. This time a text to tell us we were due a tax refund. Again with a link to a website that most definitely had nothing to do with HMRC. We mention them just as a reminder that these scams are still around and targeting people in Somerset

The latest scam, a particularly nasty one, is a phone call from NHS Test and Trace. It all starts quite reasonably. “Good afternoon I’m calling from the NHS track and trace service. 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 7 days and take a COVID-19 test.” However the caller will then go through their prepared text as follows:

  • You need to take a test
  • You need the test in the next 72 hours
  • We need a mailing address for the test kit

Even at this point there is nothing that looks out of the ordinary. However the next step will be a request for a payment card. You need to pay (pick a number – we were asked for £75) for the test.

To be clear. THIS IS A SCAM. The NHS will not ask you to pay for a test. They may ask you to take one. But they will usually ask you to book it yourself. The system may be creaking at the seams. It may not be possible to find a test locally. But the NHS will not demand payment for a test.

Please be wary and make sure that older or vulnerable people you know are aware and don’t fall for this. There is no depth to which these people will not stoop. Don’t fund their habit.

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