Fraudsters try to con people into paying for Covid tests

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon slammed the 'despicable' scammers.

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Nicola Sturgeon has branded scammers pretending to work as Test and Protect contact tracers “utterly despicable”.

The First Minister said the government has become aware of fraudsters targeting people by attempting to con them into paying for a coronavirus test.

Speaking at the daily Covid-19 briefing, she stressed Covid tests are free and real Test and Protect workers would never request financial information or attempt to secure payments for tests.

Sturgeon said: “We have become aware that some fake callers are pretending to work for Test and Protect and are trying to con people by claiming that payment is needed for a test.

“Sadly, this reminds us there are always a small number of people – a tiny minority but nevertheless they’re there – who will try to exploit any situation they can to defraud people.

“It is truly and utterly despicable, particularly at this time of crisis that we are living through.

“Covid tests are free and will always be free for people that need them.”

The First Minister continued: “Nobody from Test and Protect will ever ask you for financial information.

“They will never ask you for your bank or credit card details and they will never try to sell you anything.

“The only thing Test and Protect staff will ask you about is where you have been and details of the people you have been in contact with.”

Test and Protect officials may contact you if you are considered a close contact of someone who tested positive for coronavirus, and may tell you to book a test and self-isolate.

Contact tracers will always call you from the same number: 0800 030 8012 – and will give you the option of calling that number back to verify the service.

In additional to traditional contact tracing by telephone, the Scottish Government has set up a new proximity app which uses bluetooth technology to anonymously identify close contacts of Covid cases.

The Protect Scotland app is designed to compliment Test and Protect.

The software has now been downloaded by more than 950,000 Scots, the First Minister told the briefing.