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Public Warned Over Scam Omicron Testing Text Messages

by : Shola Lee on :
Public Warned Over Scam Omicron Testing Text MessagesAlamy

People are being warned about a scam Omicron testing text message that tricks people into giving out personal information.

According to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), there are reportedly messages being sent to the general public that claim to be from the NHS.

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The message supposedly says, ‘Apply now for Omicron PCR test to avoid restrictions.’

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The message also claims that older PCR tests cannot detect the new variant, and urges the recipient to sign up for one of the new PCR tests or face further restrictions.

As with most scam messages, the text links to a website that looks similar to an official site and asks people to fill in their personal details.

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The CTSI have urged people not to fill in the form, as it could be used to access personal information and bank accounts.

Katherine Hart, lead officer at the CTSI, said that the scam ‘disgusts’ her.

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She added:

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All of the claims in the email are false. The public is especially vulnerable at this time, and I call on everyone to share this message so that we can minimise the impact of this scam.

This is by no means the first time fraudsters have used the pandemic for their gain – since March 2020, the unscrupulous have angled their scams on everything from bogus Covid-19 business support grants and vaccination bookings to fake vaccine passes.

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Hart continued, ‘It is also crucial that the public reports this scam to the authorities. By doing so, the public aids consumer protectors in mapping out the problem and recognising the sheer scale of it.’

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The news comes as Christmas plans and further restrictions remain up in the air, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that he would ‘take whatever steps are necessary to protect public health’.

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According to the World Health Organization, the new variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate, with 77 countires already confirming cases of Omicron.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online

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Shola Lee

Shola Lee began her journalism career while studying for her undergraduate degree at Queen Mary, University of London and Columbia University in New York. She has written for the Columbia Spectator, QM Global Bloggers, CUB Magazine, UniDays, and Warner Brothers' Wizarding World Digital. Recently, Shola took part in the 2021 BAFTA Crew and BBC New Creatives programme before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories, and features.

Topics: Health, COVID-19, Now, Omicron, scam, UK

Credits

The Metro and 1 other
  1. The Metro

    Beware the scam messages over Omicron PCR testing

  2. BBC

    Covid: Omicron spreading at unprecedented rate, WHO says