Warning issued over fake Omicron variant test scam

The Government have warned of a new scam email that claims to offer free PCR tests for the new Omicron Covid-19 variant.

The government has warned of a new scam email that claims to offer PCR tests for the new Omicron Covid-19 variant. - Credit: Trading Standards

People are being warned of scam emails which claim to be from the NHS and offer tests for the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The fake email offers new PCR test kits that detect the Covid variant, and claims that taking the tests means people can avoid the new restrictions.

A link within the email leads to a fake NHS website that may ask for payment or bank details in order to secure a testing kit.

Any emails received that offer such tests should be forwarded to the government at report@phishing.gov.uk.

The scam comes after the variant of concern emerged in southern Africa last week.

UK scientists first became aware of the new strain on November 23 after samples were uploaded on to a coronavirus variant tracking website.

At the weekend, prime minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions that came into effect on Tuesday, November 30.

Restrictions include the reintroduction of mask wearing in shops and on public transport.

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In a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Johnson went on to set the target of everyone eligible for a booster jab being offered one by the end of January.