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Contact Tracing: Fraud

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL5222, tabled on 3 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the penalties under civil or criminal law for (1) those organising frauds relating to the NHS test and trace service, () those aiding and abetting them, and (3) those who fail to take reasonable steps to protect their customers against such fraud; and what are the penalties for those employed in the NHS test and trace service, whether as individuals or as organisations, for misusing the information to which they have access.

Answered on

17 June 2020

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020. This includes enhanced contact tracing.

NHS Test and Trace has been developed to government security standards and we have been working with the National Cyber Security Centre, on measures to keep the public safe. The NHS Test and Trace service uses text messages, email or phone. All text or emails will ask people to sign into the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website with a set of unique characters provided alongside a secure link to the site. For those people that are unable to respond via email or text, perhaps because they do not have those options available to them, a phone-based service will contact them and support them through the process.

If the public are concerned about whether a call or email they receive comes from NHS Test and Trace service they can visit GOV.UK and view a page which lists the official phone numbers used by this service and can also check what is and is not going to be asked.

If anyone thinks they have been sent a scam message, they can report it to Action Fraud. If people receive an email which they are not quite sure about, they can forward it to the National Cyber Security Centre’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service and to report a spam text, they can forward the message to Ofcom’s spam texting service on 7726.

Any action to investigate reports of potential fraud will fall to the police / National Crime Agency and if prosecuted it will be for the courts to decide sentencing.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care