Some Thoughts

Test and Trace Scams

1 June 2020

A very good question was put to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries

John from Gloucester asked: “If I receive a call from someone who says they are from the test and trace scheme telling me to self isolate, how can I confirm that the call is genuine and not from someone acting from ulterior motives?”

The answer given by Dr Jenny Harries does not correctly represent modern information security issues.

“It is highly unlikely you will be contacted inappropriately.”

We already know scammers are abusing the situation to try and get access to people’s bank accounts via personal details

“It will be very obvious the conversation you have with them that they are genuine. It will be very evident these are professionally trained individuals.”

Some will be obvious - like some spam is

But some will be very well done and very convincing.

Be careful about giving out personal information - especially about other people (your contacts).

There should be a well publicised verification process.

If in doubt ask for advice from someone you trust - you should always be able to call the contact tracer back.

Pressure to sidestep safety checks is one of the warning signs of scams.