Jeane Freeman issues stark warning after spate of coronavirus text scams

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has issued a stark warning after reports of a spate of text scams targeting Scots who are shielding from coronavirus.

Speaking as she led today’s daily briefing, Ms Freeman said the Scottish Government had been informed of two incidents where a message asking for personal information was sent by someone pretending to be from the shielding texting service.

Ms Freeman insisted that officials were looking into the scam “as a matter of urgency”, and told Scots to be vigilant.

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“Scottish Government will never send a text message asking for sensitive personal information or banking details.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has issued a stark warning after reports of a spate of text scams targeting Scots who are shielding from coronavirus. (Photo by Andy Buchanan- Pool/Getty Images)

“So if you've signed up to the shielding text message service, and you've received a text asking for financial information or passwords is almost certainly a scam.

“Anyone who receives a suspicious text or call of this kind can report it to Advice Direct Scotland.

“And if you are unfortunate enough to have been a victim of a scam, you should contact the police by calling 101.”

Ms Freeman said that scams were “not unexpected”, adding that: “there will always be a small number of people who seek to exploit any situation they can to defraud others.

“We will continue to do everything we can to prevent this from happening,” she concluded.

The warning came as she confirmed that Scotland has recorded 37 deaths from coronavirus and 969 positive tests in the past 24 hours.

It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 3,676.

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