Friday Five: NHS scam alert for free Covid test texts

4 min readJun 24, 2022

Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

Fake NHS webpage for ordering PCR test kit

1. NHS scam alert for free Covid test texts

The NHS warns the public to be cautious of a new scam text circulating, advising recipients to claim a free Omicron test kit after being a “close Covid contact”. The message is being distributed in an attempt for fraudsters to harvest financial and personal information, as the UK had lifted Covid testing requirements for close contacts and most people are ineligible for free tests.

The message includes a link to a webpage that imitates NHS branding, demanding personal and financial details. The healthcare provider states it will “never ask for bank details” and urges targets to treat these messages with suspicion. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), who helped develop the Suspicious Email Reporting Service with the City of London Police in 2020, says cyber-criminals “continue to exploit concerns around the coronavirus” for fraudulent purposes.

Phone displaying money management apps

2. Cost-of-living crisis triggers a surge in money management apps

The cost-of-living crisis spurs public engagement in finance manager and budgeting apps. App marketing experts, App Radar, revealed that money management apps have surged by 46%, seeing over five million android users from 1st January to 7th June 2022, as inflation hits a forty-year high.

Consumers are desperately turning to tech to help navigate and stretch their funds as they seek to tackle pressures from soaring living costs, with price hikes in utilities, food, council tax, transport, rent and mortgage bills. Silver Peruci, Managing Director of App Radar, says, “While consumers cannot control inflation and rising prices, they can control how they spend money”. In the savings and budgeting arena, platforms Plum, Snoop, and Moneybox led the pack for generating the most users.

3. Google Maps introduce a new label to find queer-owned businesses

Google has launched a new label in Maps and Search that allows US merchants to mark their business as LGBTQ+ owned — a new addition to a string of labels already on the app. Though Google Maps has embodied labels like ‘LGBTQ-friendly’ and ‘Transgender Safe Space’, the new business identity attribute will help people locate and support diverse firms in their community.

The new feature also adopts a system whereby business owners can report any related abuse or harassment because of their label, which Google promise to investigate and strive to take appropriate action. The LGBTQ+ label must be added by the business itself. On the app, verified owners need to click on ‘edit profile’ and select ‘business information’ before choosing the new label in the ‘more’ tab.

Meta logos

4. Meta moderators receive one million appeals against removed posts

Meta’s moderation system received more than one million appeals against removed content on Facebook and Instagram in 2021, its first year of operation. The disputed posts had been deleted for disobeying the rules around either violence, hate speech or bullying. Meta owner, Mark Zuckerberg, set up The Oversight Board as an independent entity to allow users to dispute the company’s controversial decisions regarding content on Meta apps.

Upon selecting cases to examine in more detail, The Oversight Board overturned 70% of Meta’s decisions. The content moderator has suggested 86 policy recommendations in 2021 for improved moderation transparency, including providing more insight and clarity on how users have violated the platform’s rules.

Happy laughing woman at work on laptop

5. Shifting the EVP to recruit and retain talent

Zone recently attended the CIPD Festival of Work where Claire McCartney, Senior Policy Advisor at CIPD, chaired a discussion on converting the employee value proposition (EVP) to recruit and retain talent. Our Marketing Exec, Rianna Mitchell, summarises the conversation, which foregrounded how organisations can create compelling offerings post-pandemic and during the current cost-of-living crisis to fulfil employee demands and enhance their loyalty.

The panel — Lisa Scales, Head of Talent Acquisition at Nestlé UK&I, and Haithem Albalawi, CHRO at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare — touched upon personalising the work experience, improving employee health and wellbeing, staying attractive without a work from home policy, candidates ghosting during the recruitment process, and retaining the best talent in a workforce.




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