Avoiding coronavirus scams

Beware of fraud and scams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newham Council’s Trading Standards have received information that fraudsters are using the Coronavirus to extort money or try to gain access to people’s homes.

Scams include:
  • Calls claiming to be from NHS Test and Trace asking people to pay for testing – note, if anyone says they are calling from “NHS Track and Trace” do not continue the call
  • Calls claiming to be from Newham Council conducting surveys on behalf of the Government
  • Door-to-door fraudsters calling at homes and selling people bogus tests to see if they're infected with the disease, or saying they are there to conduct tests
  • A text message claiming to be from gov.uk telling people to visit a website to obtain a Council Tax refund.
  • Fake websites selling face masks.
Residents are urged not to click on any links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
 
If someone calls at your home, always ask to see identification and ask for a landline telephone number to check who they are. If they are genuine, they will understand. 
 
Do not let strangers into your home, particularly at this time of self-isolation and social distancing.
 

Avoiding Test & Trace scams

How you will be contacted

  • The NHS Test & Trace service may text or call you
  • The NHS Test & Trace service will call you from 0300 013 5000
  • The NHS Test & Trace service will text you from NHStracing
  • If the Newham team call you, they will identify themselves as Council staff calling as part of the local contact tracing programme
  • The Newham team may contact you by phone, email, post or text
  • You will be contacted during normal working hours or early evening - You will not be contacted early in the morning or late at night

You will be asked to:

  • Sign into https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk
  • Share information about where you have been recently and who you have had face-to-face contact
  • Isolate for 10 days if you receive a positive test result
  • Isolate for 14 days if you are identified as a close contact
  • Book a test via the national testing portal or 119 if you develop or have symptoms

You will not be asked to:

  • Share your bank or card details
  • Provide payment
  • Share details of any accounts
  • Set up a password or PIN number
  • Call a premium rate number (e.g. those starting with 09 or 087)
  • Allow someone to visit you at home.