Public warned about scam text posing as HSE Covid close contact alert
As if there weren't enough existing scam texts doing the rounds, we now apparently have to worry about one mimicking HSE close contact alerts.
RTE News Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers this morning tweeted that he was alerted to this scam by one of his followers.
"I got this text message this morning about being a close contact of a COVID 19 patient and was told to click on the link. It brought me to a convincing looking HSE site and asked for details," the follower had sent.
"When it looked for my bank details to pay for the cost of sending the PCR testing kit, I knew it was a scam. But it could easily catch someone out."
The follower had sent it to the journalist, who has been a trusted source on all developments throughout the pandemic, to raise awareness as "people have enough to worry about".
Replying to Fergal's tweets, another follower shared screenshots of the text they received and the fake website it brought them to.
"You've been in close contact with a person who has contracted the Omicron variant. Please order a test kit via [link]," the text reads, with the sender listed as 'HSE Covid19'.
The website, which convincingly mimics that of the HSE, also appears to be harvesting personal information such as an address and PPS number.
I had the same thing happen.its also data harvesting. Name, address, PPS no. pic.twitter.com/c7q01MmS87
— Carlos Tighe (@CarlosTighe) April 4, 2022
Such scams have become much more convincing in recent years, making it easy for people to fall for them. The only way to combat them is to report such texts and spread awareness.