Test and trace Edinburgh: Woman gets texts from a complete stranger

Woman starts getting ‘creepy’ texts from a complete stranger after leaving her contact details at pub track and trace

  • Toni Drummond, 20, went for a night out in Edinburgh, Scotland, last month
  • She wrote her name and number down on a track and trace form in a restaurant
  • Two days later a man text her to say she had missed a great night when she left 

A woman has described the moment a ‘creepy’ stranger started messaging her after taking her number from a pub’s track and trace.

Toni Drummond, 20, went for an evening out in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a friend last month and wrote her name and number down on card at the entrance to a restaurant.

Later in the evening Ms Drummond, from Glasgow, shouted out her name and phone number to the woman behind the bar of an Irish pub, reported The Sun. 

Two days later, on September 14, she received a WhatsApp message from a stranger. 

It read: ‘Oh Toni, you missed a really good night in Edinburgh after you left.’

Toni Drummond (left), 20, went for an evening out in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her friend Molly Mactavish (right) last month and wrote her name and number down on card at the entrance to a restaurant

She confronted the texter and asked who he was but the WhatsApp account disappeared.

She told the newspaper: ‘I said, “Who is this? I didn’t give my number to anyone in Edinburgh”. He said, “Oh sorry it must be the wrong number”.

‘I said, “Did you take my number off Track and Trace?” 

‘We both have boyfriends and we were social distancing in Edinburgh, so I knew I hadn’t handed out my number to a random guy.’

She confronted the texter and asked who he was but the WhatsApp account disappeared (file image)

Others have faced similar issues, with another woman revealing she received a message from a man claiming to be from Dubai.

She said the man took her number from the track and track list at a kebab shop.

Last month another woman claimed she was sent flirty text messages by a ‘creepy’ tour bus worker who got her details from her test-and-trace form.

Kat Kingsley, from Hayle, Cornwall, went on the Original Tour bus in Windsor in September. 

Kat Kingsley, 25, (pictured) from Hayle, Cornwall, claims she was sent flirty text messages by a ‘creepy’ tour bus worker who got her details from her test-and-trace form

But just three days later the 25-year-old claims she received text messages from a male worker that said she had been ‘living in his head’ and admitted ‘knowing all the risk involved in using data that’s not supposed to be for me’.

Ms Kingsley, who works as a nanny, said that as she got on the bus with a child and had given her name and number to a staff member who wrote them on a piece of paper as part of the NHS Test and Trace programme.

She claims that a few days after the trip she received a message that read: ‘Basically, the other day after you left I felt silly, keep looking around to see if I could spot you again. 

‘Yesterday they sent me again to Windsor and I felt even more silly realising I was still hoping to see you.  

Three days later Ms Kingsley claims she received text messages from the man that said she had been ‘living in his head’ and he admitted ‘knowing all the risk involved in using data that’s not supposed to be for me’

Ms Kingsley (pictured) said she was ‘shocked’ when she received the messages which she branded as ‘so creepy’ and left her ‘weirded out’

‘Along with the idea of this stupid message you’ve been living my head (not really good conditions but the rent is cheap and there is plenty of room ) for 3 days now… 

‘Joking joking joking! 

‘So today I decided to stop being silly and go full stupid and write you, knowing all the risk involved in using data that’s not supposed to be for me. 

‘Don’t get me wrong, mainly I’m just zealous and professional to test, in advance, a totally random phone number to see if it is correct in case he NHS will need it in the future.’  

Ms Kingsley had been on the Original Tour bus in Windsor (pictured) before receiving the messages 

A second message read: ‘Anyway, apart all the due apologies you owe me for all this silliness and stupidity you generated in me, I need you to tell me something to make me finally realise that that smile wasn’t that gorgeous and its not really you, but the fact that I like all the kats in general.’   

What is the NHS Track and Trace system? 

Hospitality businesses are now legally required to take customers’ contact details so they can be traced if a potential coronavirus outbreak is linked to the venue.  

The companies can even be fined if they fail to take customers’ contact details.

The information is held on record for 14 days as part of the NHS Track and Trace scheme.

Anyone who develops Covid-associated symptoms will be told to self-isolate and get tested.

The close contacts of those who are found to be positive for the disease will then be told to quarantine – even if they are currently testing negative and are not sick. 

This will include those who were present at a restaurant, pub or otherwise at the same time.

Boris Johnson’s government has hired an enormous army of 50,000 people who will attempt to make this huge undertaking possible. 

Around 25,000 are contact tracers who will contact people who return positive coronavirus tests to grill them on their movements and their known associates. 

The idea is to build a picture of who they have come into contact with and so who might be at risk of a) becoming ill and b) passing it on to more people.    

Another 25,000 people in the scheme are testers, who will go out into the community and test these known associates. 

    Speaking about the incident, Ms Kingsley said she was ‘shocked’ when she received the messages which she branded as ‘so creepy’ and left her ‘weirded out’. 

    She has since urged said people to be cautious as she said the system was ‘not very safe’. 

    She said: ‘At first I was pretty shocked, I never thought this would happen to me – but I figured I’d wait until the morning to ask for advice from people.

    ‘When I woke up I thought about it more and more, and realised how big of an issue this actually is.

    ‘Not only that, but he had mentioned the child’s name in the messages as well. 

    ‘So as a duty of care for the child, I had to report it anyway.

    ‘I suffer from situational anxiety, and I was so anxious not only that this had happened, but the fact I had to go and tell the family that unfortunately their child is involved.

    ‘I was quite literally shaking all morning, when I told the parents. 

    ‘I have a number for a man that works for the company to give me a formal apology, but I’m not sure how I want to follow through yet.

    ‘I would just urge people to be cautious as the system is not very safe and needs re-evaluating.

    ‘Now I don’t think I will give my details over again. 

    ‘I’m going to be wary of everywhere else.’

    She added: ‘The government really need to re-assess the track and trace system. 

    ‘All it’d take is for the wrong person to get the wrong information and somebody could end up in a much worse position than I.

    ‘I want to know how our government can make our data safer.

    ‘I just sort of stared at the messages trying to figure it out. 

    ‘It seems like a small thing when you first look at it, but when you look into it you realise it’s much bigger.’

    Original Tour said if the incident was ‘proven from our investigation, this is totally unacceptable’ and it would take appropriate action.

    A spokesperson added: ‘It goes against the values of our organisation entirely.’ 

    A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘The unauthorised use of customers’ information provided for contact tracing is unacceptable and every business must comply with all date protection legislation.’    

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