Police issue warning after claims of COVID-19 phone call scam

Police issue warning after claims of COVID-19 phone call scam
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Police are warning Kiwis to stay vigilant after reports of a COVID-19 phone call scam surfaced on Tuesday. 

A Facebook post claims scammers are calling up unsuspecting New Zealanders and telling them they've been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for the virus. 

The scammer then asks for the person's address and credit card information so they can charge "a one-off fee of $50" to send a testing kit. 

The person is threatened with "penalties" if they don't comply.

A woman posted a warning in a community Facebook page on Tuesday to help alert other people.

"Scum bags! This is how scammers work. And vulnerable people will fall for it," she said. 

Police haven't received any complaints relating to the calls but is encouraging Kiwis in a non-emergency to report scams online or dial 105.

"Police remind New Zealanders to remain vigilant, especially when a caller, email/message, or stranger asks for personal details or money. If something looks or sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

The Ministry of Health says either it or a person's local District Health Board Public Health Unit will make contact if someone has been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case. Tests are then undertaken at a health care centre.

Testing is currently prioritised for people who are most likely to have the virus, and at the moment the greatest risk of infection is at the border.