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Contact Tracing: Fraud

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL5223, tabled on 3 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the process for reporting suspicious texts, emails and phone calls purporting to relate to the NHS test and trace service; to whom should such reports be made; whether Action Fraud and the Suspicious Email Reporting Service are involved; and, if so, whether there any plans for a separate, simpler process accessed from the main page of Action Fraud.

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