THE First Minister has warned Scots of a “despicable” new telephone scam in which callers pretend to be working for Test and Protect before asking for people’s payment details.

Nicola Sturgeon said the scammers attempt to con people by claiming that payment is needed for a coronavirus test to be accessed.

The FM said: “Sadly this reminds us that there is always a small number of people, it’s a tiny minority, but nevertheless they’re there, who will try to exploit any situation they can to defraud people – and it is truly and utterly despicable, particularly at this time of crisis that we are living through.”

What happens in a genuine Test and Protect call?

Sturgeon reminded viewers of the daily briefing that Covid-19 tests are free and will always be free for those who need them, and added nobody from Test and Protect will ever ask you for financial information, your bank or credit card details, and will never try to sell anything.

She explained Test and Protect staff will only ever ask for details of where you have been and contact information for people you have been in close contact with.

Genuine contact tracers will often also first send a text to alert you to the fact you will soon be phoned. Callers always introduce themselves, state the reason for their call and they will already know your name. They will ask for details of people you’ve been in contact with in a relevant time period.

Callers will also tell you that further information will be sent by email or post.

Genuine Test and Protect workers always call from the same number – 0800 030 8012.

Workers will also give you the option of calling back on that number if you wish to verify the legitimacy of the call.

What should I look out for?

If a person claiming to be from Test and Protect asks for your bank details or computer passwords, you should put the phone down immediately – they are not a legitimate contact tracer.

What should I do if I think I have received a fraudulent call or have been scammed?

You can report concerns about calls you receive to Advice Direct Scotland. If you believe you have been a victim of a scam or an attempted scam you can contact the police on 101.