The tactics are almost identical to that used in the prolific NHS Covid test scam, which cost victims thousands of pounds each throughout the pandemic. The end of free Covid testing in March revived the scam, with the average victim losing more than £5,800 each, according to bank Santander.
Monkeypox cases in Britain are still rare, with less than 200 reported so far, but those with symptoms have been told to isolate at home. Experts have warned rising cases will help scammers target concerned members of the public.
Paul Davis of TSB, another bank, said: “With monkeypox currently in the news, it’s important to remain vigilant to unsolicited communication – as criminals will pounce on any opportunity to target you.”
Experts said the UK Health Security Agency, the national body responsible for monitoring monkeypox cases, would never need to take payment or card details as part of contact tracing.
Mr Thompson said: “If you are being pressured to act quickly, an alarm bell should be sounding in your head, as this is very likely to be a scam.”
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