What to expect if you are called by a contact tracer

Scotland’s Test & Protect service was rolled out across Scotland on 28 May and has since launched a ‘Protect Scotland’ app to assist in contact tracing.

Supported by a dedicated Protect Scotland website, the app is an extra tool complementing existing person-to-person contact tracing, which remains the main component of NHS Scotland’s Test & Protect system.

Commenting on the ‘Protect Scotland’ app, Maree Todd, SNP MSP said:

“I would like to thank everyone across the Highlands & Islands who have downloaded it.

“To allow for the app to work effectively, we still need more people to download it, so I would urge anyone who has not yet downloaded the app, to do so now and help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The Protect Scotland app is available to download for free via Apple and Google app stores.

Warning of reported scams, Maree Todd said:

“I think it’s important to remind people of what to expect if they are contacted by a contact tracer as we’re now hearing of fraudsters who are pretending to work for Scotland’s Test & Protect service and are asking for payment details for a COVID-19 Test. To be clear, COVID-19 tests always have been and always will be free.

“Firstly, contact tracers will introduce themselves, state the reason for their call, and will always identify who they are calling by name. They will not ask for information about bank accounts or medical records, and they will not try to sell you anything.

“Genuine contact tracers will often also first send you a text to let you know that you will shortly receive a call from NHS Scotland.

“Contact tracers will always phone from the same number – 0800 030 8012 – and they will give you the option of calling back on that number if you want to verify the service.

“When contacting individuals who have tested positive, contact tracers will ask people to identify others who they’ve been in close contact with and places they’ve been 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms up until the time they’ve self-isolated. This information will then be inputted into contact tracing software and used to identify and contact those identified.

“If you have been a victim of a contact tracing scam, you should report this to Police Scotland on 101.”

Visit protect.scot to download the Protect Scotland app.

If you experience any one of the symptoms – a high temperature,  new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – you must immediately self-isolate.

As soon as you start showing symptoms you should go to www.nhsinform.scot or call 0800 028 2816 to arrange to get tested.

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