Wiganers warned to be on the look out as criminals beg binmen for used Covid tests
Wigan homeowners and businesses are being urged to watch out for people going through their bins, following reports of a repulsive new Covid scam.
A waste collection company says that fraudsters are selling on both positive and negative lateral flow tests for cold, hard cash as buyers attempt to dupe employers and venues.
According to Divert.co.uk, refuse collectors are being offered money to allow these people to pick through waste in order to find used test devices.
Meanwhile, on other occasions, they don't even ask.
Commercial refuse collectors have found sacks of everyday office waste – usually ignored by four-legged vermin - torn apart to find LFTs.
Spokesperson for Divert.co.uk Mark Hall said: "It’s a disgusting and immoral trade. This kind of selfishness and stupidity will lead to further infections and deaths.
“It’s absolutely maddening. Refuse workers have a hard enough job as it is without clearing up after these goons.
“As far as we know, nobody’s been threatened by these criminals, but it can only be a matter of time.”
Both positive and negative tests are in demand, with the fraud being described as two-fold.
The trade of negative LFTs is for those who want to use them to fool employers, venues that demand a negative test result, and phone apps that the person is clear of Covid.
They might also want to skip a period of self-isolation, with potentially devastating results.
“These are people who have either tested positive, or simply don’t want to go through the bother of taking a test," said Mr Hall
“Whatever their motive, they want to mix with colleagues, friends and the general public without a thought for their welfare.”
The second trade is in positive test results, for those who simply fancy a bit of paid time off work.
Mr Hall said: “Why anybody would fake having a potentially deadly disease after everything we’ve been through in the last two years is beyond us."
Social media users are also being warned not to post their tests online as scammers are also selling screengrabs of the QR codes.
This deception worries Mr Hall as he fears that dodging Covid tests is one reason the pandemic is lasting so long.
He added: "It only takes one person with the highly-infectious Omicron variant at a sporting event which requires a negative test from all spectators to spread it to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people.
"Look, we’re all sick of Covid, but it’s clear from the daily stats that it isn’t sick of us..
“The rules are there for a reason, and trying to find a way around them could actually kill people. Is going down the pub with your mates really worth it?”
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