Covid-19 scam warning from Public Health Devon

Test and Trace scam Picture: Getty Images

Test and Trace scam Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Devon County Council has issued a warning and is advising people to stay alert to possible scams, associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, said;

“We’ve had a report from a member of the public, that he was visited at home by a person claiming to be from the national Test and Trace programme.

“That person told him that his household had been linked as a contact with a Covid-19 case in Exeter, and that therefore he needed to self-isolate. The visitor offered the gentleman a food parcel for £20. He had no identification, and was driving a small dark car.

“This is a scam, and I thank the member of the public for bringing it immediately to our attention.

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“I therefore want to remind people to be on their guard, and not be taken in by scams like this.

“The NHS Test and Trace programme publishes details of how they inform people, and importantly what they will never do or ask a person to do. I encourage people to familiarise themselves with the information so that they do not fall foul of would-be scammers.”

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A National Trading Standards spokesperson said: “Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about Covid-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends. National Trading Standards is warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over Covid-19.

“Members of the public should ignore scam products such as supplements and anti-virus kits that falsely claim to cure or prevent Covid-19.

Communities are also being urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals.

“The criminals often claim to represent charities to help them appear legitimate before taking the victim’s money.”

Information about the NHS Test and Trace programme is available online.

If you are contacted by someone and suspect a scam, contact

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