A major bank has warned Brits to keep their eyes peeled for an NHS text scam after a man lost more than £1,000.
Barclays UK urged customers to "stay alert" for the Coronavirus-related text message posing as NHS Track and Trace.
Christopher Short, 76, was informed by scammers that he'd been in close contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid. Due to having an immunocompromised wife, Mr Short clicked on a link in the message with the understanding that he could order a testing kit.
The fake but convincing NHS site instructed the man to enter his personal details and pay for the bogus kit. Scammers then spent more than £1,000 at Argos and tried getting him to transfer all his savings into their account by pretending to be his credit card company.
Want the latest news and expert money saving advice? Share your email for the biggest finance headlines, tips and more from the Mirror
Barclays have urged customers to 'stay alert' over the scam
NurPhoto via Getty Images)
"I know it probably makes me look stupid because I never, ever click on an unknown link,” he told Wharfedale Observer. "But a couple of days before I had been to an inside meeting for the first time during this Covid period.
“My wife has rheumatoid arthritis and the drugs she takes suppress her immune system, and for me to get Covid and pass it on to her would be catastrophic. My brain just didn’t click into warning mode because of this".
Mr Short added: “This team, and it must be a team for the work that has gone into creating the NHS site and hacking into something to get the phone numbers, needs locking up.
“I’m sure the Government said it was going to crack down on this type of fraud. People have lost tens of thousands of pounds, indeed their whole lifetime savings because of people like this.”
How to spot the scam
West Yorkshire Police has issued guidance about the scam. It says: “Genuine texts, calls or emails from the NHS service won't ask you for any personal details upfront.
"Calls and texts will only come from one verified NHS number: 0300 013 5000. If you think you have received a scam email/text/call then you can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040".
Barclays UK added: “If you receive an email, SMS or call and follow the Take Five guidance to Stop, Challenge, Protect.“
Have you fallen victim to this scam? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org