BIN men have reported being offered cash for old lateral flow tests people have thrown out.

Refuse collection firm said its employees had been approached by people looking for used Covid tests - both positive and negative.

Staff have reportedly been offered money to turn a blind eye as people sift through refuse for used tests.

Other times, the bin men say they have not even been asked. Rubbish which is normally ignored by pests such as rats and foxes - for example paper waste from offices - has been torn open and searched, apparently for lateral flow tests.

“It’s absolutely maddening,” spokesperson Mark Hall said. “Refuse workers have a hard enough job as it is without clearing up after these goons."

“As far as we know, nobody’s been threatened by these criminals, but it can only be a matter of time.”

Hall cautioned homeowners to be vigilant with their old Covid tests, and said that there were two markets for the discarded lateral flows.

The first, he said, was among people who may want to skip a period of self-isolation, or who were looking to fool venues that demand proof of a negative result for entry.

“These are people who have either tested positive, or simply don’t want to go through the bother of taking a test,” Hall said. “Whatever their motive, they want to mix with colleagues, friends and the general public without a thought for their welfare.”

“This kind of selfishness and stupidity will lead to further infections and deaths,” he added. said that the second trade, in positive test results, may be used by people hoping to get time off work.

“Why anybody would fake having a potentially deadly disease after everything we’ve been through in the last two years is beyond us,” Hall said, “but here we are.” also said there had been warnings that scammers are using the QR codes of tests that social media users are posting on Facebook.

Police Scotland has been asked if they have received any similar reports.