Investigation after woman sent 'appalling' text by COVID contact tracer asking if she was single

·3-min read
Charlotte Roffey, 27, was home alone after enjoying a break in Spain when the NHS Test and Trace employee used her details to see if she was single (swns)
Charlotte Roffey, 27, was home alone after enjoying a break in Spain when the NHS Test and Trace employee used her details to see if she was single (swns)

An investigation has been launched by the Department of Health after a woman received an inappropriate text from a government contact tracer.

Charlotte Roffey, 27, was home alone after a holiday in Spain when the NHS Test and Trace employee used her details to ask if she was single.

She had enjoyed a three-night break in Majorca, returning on 19 July. Before she landed at Heathrow she completed a passenger locator form on which she supplied her name, age, telephone number and home address in order for a contact tracer to check she was completing her mandatory 10-day isolation period.

Two days later she was visited by a male contact tracer. 

Charlotte Roffey with partner William Machin (swns)
Charlotte Roffey with partner William Machin (swns)

She said: "He came to my door and we spoke for a while.

"He told me he had already marked me as at home on the system they use, but he had no uniform or badges that I was aware of.

"He didn’t seem flirty, just friendly, but it didn’t feel professional at all."

Contract manager Roffey also said that the man suggested "tricks" to avoid being caught if she left the house during her isolation period.

Just minutes after he left, Charlotte got a text that said: "Hii (sic). Do I have the permission to save your number at all? Please ignore this if you don't want that or have a husband or whatever lol.

"Apologies I asked.”

Roffey said she did not respond to the message but sent a screenshot to her partner William Machin, 29.

She said the same man has since added her on social media networks including Facebook.

Roffey says she feel uncomfortable in her own home after being contacted by a test and trace officer who asked if she was single (swns)
Roffey had enjoyed a holiday in Majorca (swns)

Roffey said: "I think it’s appalling that he used his power in a completely inappropriate way and it made me concerned for any other female in the same position.

"I had no one home and I felt uncomfortable that he has access to all my details. I feel uncomfortable in my own home and worry who is going to knock on the door next.

"It was instilled into me that I must stay at home and the consequences if I didn’t were a fine of up to £10,000.

"To then have someone arrive on your doorstep with such disrespect of the rules and to illegally use my phone number, I can understand why the government is finding it so tough to enforce the rules and make people take things seriously."

Watch: Shapps: We look towards more countries as they become ready

Roffey said she hasn't reported the government employee's inappropriate use of her personal details, but wanted to warn others that data could be exploited.

She said: "I feel like people definitely need to be aware that this is happening as I'm sure this isn’t the first time but it’s completely unacceptable and unprofessional."

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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We take complaints about NHS Test and Trace contact tracers extremely seriously and they will all be investigated and appropriate action taken.

“The government expects all of our operatives to behave in a professional manner at all times and if people are not happy with the service – either the phone checks or in-person visits – you can complain to NHS Test and Trace online or telephone 119.”

Watch: How the world could be better after COVID

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