Martin Lewis has issued a warning to businesses after a barber used his coronavirus trace number to 'illegally' text him following a haircut.

The money-saving expert said he was 'shocked' to receive a marketing message after his name and number were collected as part of the trace scheme.

The 48-year-old said the practice was 'illegal' and has warned small business such as pubs and hairdressers not to do the same.

It comes hairdressers and barbers reopened across the UK as lockdown measures ease.

The Money Saving expert said he was 'shocked' to received a marketing message after being asked for his number as part of the track and trace scheme

This includes in Scotland, where businesses were allowed to resume haircuts this week after months of cancelled appointments.

Similarly to reopened restaurants and pubs, hairdressers and barbers are expected to record customer's contact details, in line with newly-introduced health guidelines.

This means customers can easily be traced if there is an outbreak of the virus.

Martin Lewis took to Twitter to urge business owners not to use customer's numbers for marketing purposes as it is in breach of data protection regulations (GDPR).

In a tweet to his 1 million followers, he explained: "Slightly shocked to receive a marketing text from a barber. 

"During my haircut I was asked for my number specifically due to Covid track & trace."

He added: "That's not acceptable or legal.

"It's wonderful you're open. It's great you're being Covid secure, but please ask for permission before marketing".

While this would qualify for the business to be reported to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the financial journalist said he didn't want to punish a small hairdresser in that way.

He instead said he wanted to 'get the message out' and remind business it isn't acceptable.

He added that you should always get permission before using data in that way.