HSE warns public about Covid-19 contact tracing scam

Criminals claiming to be public health staff before asking for money for test kits

The HSE has said it does not charge the public for Covid-19 related services including testing and that ‘such texts and calls should be ignored’. File photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The HSE has said it does not charge the public for Covid-19 related services including testing and that ‘such texts and calls should be ignored’. File photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

 

Fake contact tracers are calling people and asking for money for Covid-19 testing kits, the HSE has warned.

The scammers are texting or phoning victims and falsely telling them they have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with the disease.

The victim is then asked to transfer money so that a testing kit can be sent to them.

The HSE has said it does not charge the public for Covid-19 related services including testing and that “such texts and calls should be ignored”.

Genuine close contacts with a confirmed Covid-19 case will be contacted by phone by public health staff or a member of a contact tracing team before being referred for a free test.

“You will NEVER be asked for your bank details or to pay for testing by a member of HSE contact tracing staff,” the HSE said in a statement.

“If the Covid-19 Tracker App has identified you as a close contact you will see a red box with the advice on what you should do next on all pages of the app.”

People concerned about suspicious phone calls or texts regarding Covid-19 testing are advised to ring HSELive on 1850 24 1850 and contact their local gardaí.