Scammers are sending schools fake emails urging them to order an “Omicron PCR test”, the government has warned.
The Department for Education is urging schools to be “vigilant” about such emails about the Covid variant, which link to a fake NHS website and request personal details.
“We are aware of schools being targeted by these emails,” the DfE said on social media.
It shared an NHS post stating that official NHS emails will never ask for bank details.
Julie McCulloch, director of policy at school leaders’ union ASCL, said they too had “alerted our members to the existence of fake emails and text messages and reinforced that the NHS would never ask for the disclosure of personal details.
“Schools will have robust systems in place to ensure they are not lured into falling victim to scams such as this one but could well do without the distraction of dealing with them.”
Several councils and NHS bodies have shared screenshots of a scam email which urges readers to “get your free Omicron PCR today to avoid restrictions”.
Meaghan Kall, lead epidemologist at the UK Health Security Agency, said there is no such thing as an Omicron PCR test.
Posting on her personal Twitter account, she wrote: “Omicron is detected perfectly well using PCR tests currently in operation. Such a shame, but not a surprise, to see people preying on people’s fears for financial gain.”