There has been a rise in scammers posing as NHS workers offering to provide a vaccine for Covid-19 who then try to charge for it, steal cash or access your personal data. We have detailed some of these scam methods below and highlight how to avoid them. We have also explained how the NHS contact you for the actual appointment to ensure you can receive your real vaccination safely.
Stay one step ahead of the scammers
- Scams on your own doorstep - it's been reported that some scammers may knock on your door and offer you a vaccine there-and-then for a fee in excess of £100. If this has happened, contact the police and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
- Telephone calls - be mindful of what details you provide over the telephone. Scammers are using Covid-19 as a way to take credit card and other personal details to allow them to carry-out fraudulent purchases
- Text messages - you may receive a text message from a scammer which looks like a genuine text from the NHS or medical provider with a link to book your vaccine. This link takes you to a fraudulent site that has been created to look like an official NHS or medical body and requests personal data including bank details. Do not provide this information, the Covid-19 vaccine is not chargeable. Any suspicious text message can be forwarded for free to the number '7726'
- Emails - similarly to telephone calls, scammers are sending out email communications to extract data and information from you. Some may contain links to websites that look authentic so please be vigilant before clicking on any links within the email. Any email correspondence which you feel may look suspicious can be sent to email@example.com
REMEMBER - THE NHS WILL NOT ASK YOU TO PAY FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINE
How will you be contacted for your Covid-19 vaccination?
As the rollout of the vaccination programme continues, the NHS will be in touch when you're eligible and how it does so depends on which NHS service you use. You may receive a letter, a text message, an email or a telephone call. Crucially, you will never be asked to pay for the Covid-19 vaccination so any request for payment details, credit/bank card numbers, your PIN, or cash should be declined and then reported.
What if you've been scammed?
Scammers are clever and persuasive and, unfortunately, can be successful in their attempts. If you feel like you or a friend/relative may have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible. You should also contact your bank/financial provider to alert them that your details could be at risk and used fraudulently.
Action Fraud is the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. They can be contacted on 0300 123 2040 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
Stay alert, stay safe and look out for each other.