Posted: Mon 22nd Jun 2020

How to tell if a call from a Coronavirus Contact Tracer is genuine

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 22nd, 2020

With contact tracing now underway across Wales, advice has been issued on how you can make sure that the person contacting you is genuine.

The population-wide “Test, Trace, Protect programme” was rolled out across Wales at the start of June.

Anyone who has a positive coronavirus test result will be contacted by a team of contact tracers and asked for details of everyone they have had close contact with while they have had symptoms.

Close contact means anyone:

They have been within 1m of and had a face-to-face-conversation, had skin-to-skin contact with or have coughed on, or been in other forms of contact with for a minute or longer;
They have been within 2m of for more than 15 minutes
They have travelled in a vehicle with or sat near on public transport.

All these close contacts will be followed up and will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days as a precaution to prevent the virus spreading further.

The contact tracing teams here in Wrexham are based within the council, and will be contacting people by phone over the coming months.

However as the test, trace and protect programmes get underway, there have been concerns over how to tell if the person calling is a genuine tracer or if it is someone trying to take advantage of the scheme.

Contact tracers will never:

– Ask you to dial a premium rate number.
– Ask you to make any type of payment.
– Ask you for any bank account details.
– Ask you for any passwords or pins, or to set up any passwords/pins whilst on the phone.
– Ask you to purchase a product.
– Ask you to download any software to your device.
– Ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet.
– Ask you to access any website that doesn’t belong to the NHS or Government.
– Genuine contact tracers will NEVER ask you for these things.

You can protect yourself by not giving away any of the following details (and if you’re asked for them, you’ll know it’s a scam).

If you’re still not sure the call is genuine, you can hang up and call Wrexham Council’s main switchboard number – 01978 292000.

When you call, you will ask you a few brief questions, including the name of the person who called you.

Your information will then be passed to the business manager in the Contact Tracing Service, who will call you back on the same day to verify the name of your contact tracer.

There is no charge in Wales for someone to be tested for Covid-19. So if the person you’re speaking to asks you to pay a fee (we’ve heard reports of up to £500), be extra vigilant and don’t give out any bank details.

Councillor Hugh Jones, Wrexham Council’s Lead Member for People, says: “The Test, Trace, Protect programme was introduced by Welsh Government on June 1, and as a council we’re heavily involved in the ‘tracing’ part in Wrexham.

“The tracing teams are made up of clinical and business leads, tracers and advisors, and if you come into contact with a known Covid-19 case, you might get a call.

“Unfortunately, there’s always the chance that scammers will try to take advantage, by pretending to be contact tracers.

“So – as with any phone call out of the blue – it’s important to be cautious, and be confident that the call is genuine.”



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