Burnley, Pendle and Ribble Valley residents warned of fake Omicron variant tests
A bogus social media post encouraging people to apply for Omicron Covid-19 tests is one of the scams doing the rounds in Lancashire this month.
Lancashire County Council's Trading Standards team has received reports of the posts, which ask people to "Apply now for an Omicron PCR test to avoid restrictions". There is no NHS test being offered specifically aimed at the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The posts contain a link which leads to a fake NHS website, which may ask for payment or bank details.
Anyone receiving social media posts or emails which offer Omicron coronavirus tests or similar should forward them to [email protected]County Coun. Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "It's barely a week since the first cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 were reported in the UK and the scammers are on to it already. Omicron is very worrying to many people and it's awful that these crooks are praying on people's concerns and vulnerabilities to get their personal details.
"Once these fraudsters have your details, they can commit identity theft, take money from your account, or pass them on to organised crime networks, so it's vital you don't reply and report them as soon as possible.
"There is no specific test for this variant of Covid-19. If you want to get tested, you need a general coronavirus test, details are available from the NHS website."
Information on how to get a PCR test if you have Covid symptoms can be found at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. To keep up to date with the latest scam alerts, follow the county council's Scambuster Stan page on Facebook. You can contact the Trading Standards Service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.