Coronavirus track and trace scam fears from Worthing resident

A track and trace system currently in the pipeline is being touted as the way out of lockdown.

But one Worthing resident has raised his concerns that the system could be exploited by fraudsters.

Terry Woodjetts, of Aster Vale, West Durrington, said: “I haven’t seen any Government announcement that they acknowledge it is open to scamming, and that people should be very careful when they give out their information.

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“Maybe there should be a code or something so that when the person phones, you know they are genuine.”

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West

The Government plans to use trained teams to find people who may have coronavirus, making thousands of calls a day.

This will be complemented by a mobile phone app which is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight.

Terry, 65, who worked in 
IT for 20 years before 
retiring, feared that scammers would fake an official NHS number – known as ‘spoofing’ – and get vulnerable people such as the elderly to divulge their personal information.

Conversely, the chairman of West Durrington Residents’ Association worried that it could make the public skeptical of genuine calls, which may in turn aid the spread of coronavirus.

Terry said he had contacted his MP, Sir Peter Bottomley, with his concerns.

Sir Peter confirmed he had passed them on to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), adding: “Some of the tech magazines have shown a number of areas of concern.

“I believe the Government needs to respond positively to them.”

A DHSC spokesman said: “We have been working with the police and the National Cyber Security Centre, who have advised on measures to keep the public safe.

“Official NHS Test and Trace contact tracers will never ask you for financial details, PINs or passwords.

“They will also never visit your home.”