While many of us are at home with our families, medical professionals and staff from the Ministry of Health, including Healthline, have been putting in a massive effort to help keep us safe. If you’ve been getting calls about COVID-19, including offers of support or information about testing and results, we’re here to help you figure out what’s real and what isn’t.
WHO IS HEALTHLINE
Healthline is funded by the Ministry of Health and managed by Whakarongorau Aotearoa (previously called Homecare Medical). They run a number of services and are key in supporting the Government’s COVID-19 response, including:
- The COVID Healthline – supporting people with information and advice about COVID.
- The COVID Welfare – who team do health and well-being checks for people in self-isolation.
- The COVID Vaccination Healthline providing vaccination information and help people who are unable to book online
IS THE HEALTHLINE CALL A SCAM?
People have reported calls from Healthline to Netsafe as a scam as they didn’t recognise the number the call was coming from and because they were being asked questions about their self-isolation or about vaccination. These calls are not a scam.
- Healthline have been tasked by Government with contacting people who are in isolation and people who have been identified as a close or casual contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. They are also supporting District Health Boards, calling people about vaccination and vaccination bookings.
- To protect their privacy and to ensure they have the right person, Healthline will ask the people they call, to confirm their personal details before they continue the call.
HOW TO TELL IF YOU’VE SPOKEN TO HEALTHLINE
Calls from Healthline can look like they’re coming from a different number to their advertised 0800 numbers (0800 611 116, 0800 28 29 26 or COVID Healthline on 0800 358 5453),
If you’ve been contacted and you’re not sure if it was really from Healthline, the first step you can take is to check the phone number they called you from. If the call was from one of the numbers below, this is a Healthline call and you need to call them back as soon as possible if you missed the call.
OTHER COVID-19 INFORMATION
Netsafe has already had reports of scammers using the pandemic to trick people into paying money or sharing private information. These can include donation scams, fake shopping sites selling PPE (personal protective equipment), and even “miracle cures.”
To keep yourself safe, follow the advice from the Ministry of Health at covid19.govt.nz.
For online retailers you’re not sure about, only buy from well known, reputable businesses and look for feedback about their online service on the internet – you can even do an internet search for their name with the word scam to see if they are genuine or not.
For more information about how to spot scams and what to do, see our page on Tips to avoid scams.
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
- Online report at netsafe.org.nz/report
- Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282