Telephone scammers want payment for COVID test, say you've been exposed

Beware COVID scam calls

A Vernon businesswoman is sounding a warning over a new scam that is heading our way.

Deb White of White House Mortgages says colleagues at the B.C. coast have started receiving phone calls saying they have likely been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

As if that's not stressful enough, the callers then ask for your address – as well as payment – for a test kit to be sent to your home.

Take note – Interior Health does not send out self-administered COVID tests, nor does it ask for payment.

"If getting the call saying I was going to be arrested wasn't bad enough, now this. Sad..." White wrote on Facebook.

Apparently, the scammers call and say: "Good morning. According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for seven days and take a COVID-19 test."

However they do not say where the exposure may have happened.

Then they go on to ask for a payment card number and a fee of $50.

To clarify, IH states on its website that testing is available for all who need it, but not everyone requires a test.

"If you develop symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19," says the health authority.

Individuals seeking a test should call their primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner) or the closest Interior Health community testing and assessment centre.

Interior Health also follows up directly with individuals whose test results are positive.

Anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-like symptoms can be assessed and get a COVID-19 test. If you are not experiencing symptoms, a COVID-19 test is not effective or recommended.

Interior Health has COVID-19 testing and assessment centres in 100 Mile House, Salmon Arm, Williams Lake, Nelson, Trail, Cranbrook, Vernon, Kelowna, Kamloops, Penticton, Revelstoke, Sparwood, Grand Forks, Golden, Enderby, and Lillooet. 

Testing at these centres is by appointment. Find your closest location here.

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