Man charged with fraud after faking COVID to avoid work

Fair to say I’ve heard a few extraordinary excuses to get out of work, but I think this one may just trump them all.

An Illawarra man has been charged with fraud after allegedly claiming he had COVID-19 to avoid going to work.

The 23-year-old allegedly sent a text message to his boss, stating he had contracted the virus and was unable to come into work in Newcastle.


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As a result, his co-workers were all stood down and self-isolated while awaiting their test results, and several locations near his workplace were forced to close for a deep clean.

It’s understood that later that day, the young man allegedly sent his boss another text to say his second test had returned a negative result.

However, police said in a statement that “subsequent inquiries” confirmed the man never received a positive test result.

The matter was referred to NSW Police, who launched an investigation into the man’s actions.

About 1pm yesterday, the man attended Wollongong Police Station, where he was arrested and charged with conveying false information that a person or property is in danger.

He was granted bail to appear at Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday 14 September.