The coronavirus lockdown has seen many of us have changes made to upcoming medical appointments.
Not only have regular GP appointments moved over to more virtual assessments like phone conversations, video calls and photos being sent, but more on-going medical check ups have changed how they operate as well.
And one service that has seen major changes over the last couple of months is the National Cervical Screening programme, which is when you will receive a reminder from your GP surgery to book in a cervical screening, or smear test.
For most women across the UK, cervical screening reminders start when they turn 25 and then reminders are sent every three years subsequently.
However, due to the current UK lockdown and social distancing measures, cervical screening are currently not going ahead instead of in extreme cases.
But now some women have noticed that, despite the current suspended services, there is a scam currently going around the country tricking recipients into giving out their personal details.
‘Important information. Please read!’ read a message received by a team member at Refinery29.
‘We have been notified of a possible cervical screening text messaging scam where some women are being contacted by text message, claiming to be from the call and recall service to advise they are overdue for a smear test.
‘The message asks to call a mobile number and provide personal details. PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS TEXT! This is not coming from NHS Cervical Screening Programme’.
Speaking about the scam, Kate Sanger, head of communications and public affairs at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust told the publication that the scam had been by multiple people who use their services.
“We know that many women are feeling anxious at the moment about changes to cervical screening due to coronavirus, this includes cancelled appointments,” said Kate.
“This scam may be adding to the worry or confusion that many women are feeling. If you’ve had a text you are unsure about or have any questions about cervical screening, get in touch with your GP or call our free helpline on 0808 802 8000.”
Public Health Service has warned not to respond to any suspicious text messages about cervical cancer.
And if you receive a text message and are unsure whether it is real or not, get in touch with your GP to double check.