Some people are receiving fake text messages claiming they’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s what it looks like.
We’ve been made aware of a fake SMS text that links to a made-up coronavirus contact tracing service. If you follow the link, the site asks for your personal details.
But there’s only one official contact tracing service you can trust, and that’s the one being run by the NHS in England. Its web address is https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.
This is what the fake text looks like:
How to tell if a contact tracing text is real
NHS Test and Trace might text or call you to warn you if you’ve recently been in contact with someone who tests positive for the virus.
You can tell if it’s genuine if it includes a unique ID number. This ID number should allow you to log into the official Test and Trace website.
Instead of following any links included in the text, go to the website from your web browser and enter the ID number you’ve been given.
You could also check whether the text came from the only number dedicated to the NHS tracing service, which is 0300 013 5000. However, there are concerns it could be affected by number spoofing.
No other messaging services are being used to contact people. If you get a message like this on WhatsApp, Telegram or Facebook, for example, you can be sure it’s fake.
Be cautious and report suspicious messages
Scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic in any way they can to try and steal information and money.
Be generally suspicious of any unusual or unexpected messages that ask for personal information about you or your friends and family.
You can read more about what to watch out for in our guide to spotting scams.
If you’ve received a text like this, or have seen any other messages about the coronavirus outbreak that you think could be fraudulent, tell us about it below in the comments.