A north-east health board today warned people not to fall for a scam that informs them a former partner has a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Grampian Sexual Health Services issued the alert after residents in the area received a text message urging them to get tested for an STD.
The phone number on the text is a premium line that could charge hundreds of pounds for a single phonecall.
The text message reads: “A sexual partner recently tested positive for an STD & is notifying you via our anonymous sms tool to recommend you get tested.”
It goes on to give a phone number and claims it will only cost £2 to call.
NHS Grampian today urged people not to respond to the text, as it is not something that is linked in any way to the health board.
A spokeswoman said: “We were made aware of this fake text earlier this week.
“Our Sexual Health Service would never contact people in this way and we wanted to ensure no-one fell victim to this scam.
“If anyone has any concerns about their sexual health they can contact the team on 0345 337 9900.”
The Grampian Sexual Health Services provides free and confidential support for people living in the north-east.
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These include STD testing and treatment, emergency contraception, unplanned pregnancy advice, testing for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, a service for sex industry workers and support and testing for people who have been sexually assaulted, as well as many others.
North-east MSP Mike Rumbles said: “This is an appalling scam that can be upsetting for families and undermines our health care services, particularly for vulnerable individuals.
“I urge people not to reply directly to any text or phone call from an unknown source.
“If you get a text like this with an apparently urgent message, it is important to contact organisations like NHS Grampian directly using a separate number.
“The Evening Express is doing a great job raising awareness about this issue and the dangers of fraudulent texts.
“I recommend that anyone who has been a victim of a phone or internet scam contact the national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, Financial Fraud Action UK.”
North-east region Scottish Conservative MSP Peter Chapman said: “Some telephone scams are easier to spot than others.
“But impersonating trusted sources can make it more difficult to detect.
“This is an especially mean-spirited attempt at fraud.”