Council officers warn of scam Test and Trace messages

29 March 2022

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Trading Standards officers are warning residents of a series of scam text messages claiming to be from NHS Test and Trace.

One of the texts tells the recipient that they have ‘been in close proximity with someone who has been contagious’.

It then tells them that they need a ‘test kit’ and provides a link to order the test – the link takes them to a fake NHS website.

The messages come from a variety of mobile numbers – an indication that it is a scam – and the text can vary; but once on the website it will ask you for your bank details.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: 

“The NHS, government or UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) would never send messages like this from a mobile phone.    

“Remember, COVID-19 tests are currently free until 31 March 2022. What the fraudsters want is for you to click on the link – please don’t do it.  If you do click on the link, depending on the scam, you may download malware or viruses and could even give scammers access to your internet passwords.”

If you accidently click the link:
  1. Immediately close the web page.
  2. Never enter passwords or other personal information on to any page you have opened by clicking a link.
  3. Reset any passwords you may have revealed.
  4. If you have entered card details – freeze your card; many accounts offer this service.
  5. Contact your bank.
If you think you’ve been scammed contact Citizens Advice online or by calling 0808 223 1133.

For more information about COVID-19 testing visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/c19testing.

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