Coronavirus: Reassurance over tracer scam potential
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May. 30, 2020
The risk of scams is being factored into the work of the new coronavirus testing and tracing system.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said people were "alert to the risks" and revealed tracers would not ask for personal data such as medical history.
Tracers will mostly text or call people who test positive with coronavirus and ask who they have had contact with.
Any of those contacts deemed at risk of infection will be told to isolate for 14 days, even if they are not sick.
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The Scottish government said the tracers would always introduce themselves, state the reason for their call and would always identify the person they had contacted by name.
The only information people will be asked for is the their movements and who they have been in close proximity to.
Tracers will not ask for personal information or attempt to sell anything to those they contact.
Once contacted, people will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days, and they will only be told the person they have been in touch with who has tested positive for Covid-19 if that person agrees to have their details revealed.
How will test and protect work?
Image copyright Scottish government
Ms Freeman said: "Contact tracers will be supported by software which builds on a tried and trusted platform and will allow us to securely carry out this work on a much larger scale than has been necessary until now.
"It will also focus on supporting public health teams to identify outbreaks and reducing transmission in high-risk groups and settings by making it easier for staff to collect and record information.
"We understand that people are alert to the risks of potential phone scams and Public Health Scotland is undertaking work to reassure people when they are contacted."
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The first step in the new "test and protect" strategy is booking a test as soon as possible
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon is being urged to get non-urgent health services up-and-running again.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "We cannot ignore the plight of people suffering under the lockdown."
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