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An investigation has been launched after a government contact tracer sent flirty texts to a woman he had to monitor.
Charlotte Roffey, 27, was left horrified when she received a message asking if she was single as she isolated at home following a mini-break to Spain.
The Hampshire-based resident went to Andratx, Mallorca for a three-night holiday earlier this month. When she landed back at Heathrow, she filled out the compulsory passenger locator form.
On this she supplied her name, age, telephone number and home address in order for a 'contact tracer' to visit periodically and check she was completing her mandatory 10-day isolation period.
Two days after she had landed, Charlotte was sat at home before there was a knock at the door by a male contract tracer who seemed to have a blatant disregard of the rules.
“He came to my door and we spoke for a while,” she explained. “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, considering I had been anxious about someone coming to visit my home.”
Charlotte added the man had told her ‘tricks’ she could use should she need to leave the house while she’s meant to be under quarantine.
Just minutes after he left, Charlotte got a text at 11:59am that said: "Hi!” followed by a waving emoji.
"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.”
Charlotte was left horrified that the man felt this was an appropriate way to message someone.
“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 or 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."
While Charlotte did not respond to the text, she did share a screenshot of the message with her partner, William Machin, who was out playing rugby at the time.
"He was very angry," she said.
"He was away at the time and wanted to confront the man but I encouraged him not to.
"The same man has since added me on social media networks including Facebook."
Charlotte hasn't reported the government employee's inappropriate use of her personal details, but wants to share her story to make people more aware of how their data could be allegedly 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.
"It also plays down the system that the government has put in place.
"I think it’s important to share this story as it highlights people that are willing to use their power to their advantage.
"I am also worried for young woman or vulnerable people that may be naïve."
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.”
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