Criminal gangs are sifting through bins to sell used lateral flows

Criminal gangs are sifting through bins in bid to make cash out of used lateral flow tests, recycling firm boss says

  • Waste collection company Divert said scammers are selling on used tests  
  • Fraudsters are also offering money to refuse collectors to sift through waste
  • They could be used to fool employers and venues demanding test for entry
  • Divert spokesperson Mark Hall said the act is ‘disgusting and immoral’ 
  • Criminal gangs are sifting through bins in a bid to make cash out of used lateral flow tests, a recycling firm boss said. 

    Waste collection company Divert said refuse collectors are being offered money to let criminals pick through waste for the used tests. 

    The scammers rip the bins apart to find the tests and keep some for themselves then sell the rest on. 

    A positive lateral flow test could be worth its weight in gold to someone who fancies some paid time off work.

    On the flip side, negative results can be used to fool employers and venues that demand a test for entry.

    The act of fraud is worrying Divert spokesperson Mark Hall because people dodging doing Covid tests is a reason why the pandemic is lasting so long. 

    Mr 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.’

    The waste collection company Divert said they have heard that refuse collectors are being offered money to let criminals pick through waste for the used tests (file image)

    The waste collection company Divert said they have heard that refuse collectors are being offered money to let criminals pick through waste for the used tests (file image)

    Mr Hall said: ‘As far as we know, nobody’s been threatened by these criminals, but it can only be a matter of time.

    ‘Look, we’re all sick of Covid, but it’s clear from the daily stats that Covid 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?’  

    Scammers have also been using QR codes of tests posted on social media and selling screengrabs in order to make money.     

    Lateral flow tests deliver a rapid Covid-19 result in under 30 minutes and help to intercept and reduce infections.   

    Bypassing the test and opting for used ones is likely to cause further Covid-19 infections and deaths.

    Packs of seven are free to order through the GOV.UK website.

    Lateral flow tests deliver a rapid Covid-19 result in under 30 minutes and help to intercept and reduce infections (file image)

    Lateral flow tests deliver a rapid Covid-19 result in under 30 minutes and help to intercept and reduce infections (file image)

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