Kilkenny residents are being targeted by nasty online scammers trying to extort money by preying on people’s Covid-19 fears.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has had to come out and issue a public information alert due the extent of the scam which sees people being contacted by phone or text, being told they have been in contact with a person with Covid-19 and asked for money for a testing kit to be sent out.
The HSE said it does not charge the public for Covid-19 tests and is asking people to ignore the calls and report incidents to the gardai.
In a statement released the HSE said it is: “Urging the public to be vigilant in light of reports it has received of a telephone/text scam from criminals claiming to be HSE contact tracing and testing staff.
“The fraudulent calls and text messages claim that the person has been identified as a close contact of someone who has Covid-19 and ask for money for a testing kit to be sent to them and for bank details.
“The HSE does not charge the public for Covid-19 related services, including testing, and such texts and calls should be ignored.
“Any close contacts of a confirmed positive case of Covid-19 will be contacted by phone call by the Contact Tracing Team or Public Health Staff in the HSE and referred for a test. The HSE does not charge or ask for payment for testing.
“If the Covid-19 Tracker App has identified you as a close contact you will see a red box with the advice on what you should do next on all pages of the app.
“You will NEVER be asked for your bank details or to pay for testing by a member of HSE contact tracing staff.
If you are concerned or suspicious about any contact you have received regarding Covid-19 testing, please ring HSELive on 1850 24 1850 and contact your local gardaí,” the statement concluded.
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