Fraudsters are targeting elderly and vulnerable people with a vaccine scam and asking for bank details or cash payments for access to vaccines that are fake or non-existent.
In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the NHS in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. At the appropriate time, people will be contacted directly by the NHS, their employer, a GP surgery or local pharmacy to receive the vaccine.
The vaccine is free of charge and at no point will people be asked to pay. The NHS will never ask for payment for vaccines or bank details.
It is important to be alert to these types of scams. Genuine text messages from the UK Government will only come from UK_Gov and you will only ever be directed to GOV.UK/coronavirus.
If you have already shared banking details after having received a similar message, you should contact your bank.
The public are asked to remember that the NHS will never:
- Ask for bank account or card details;
- Ask for a PIN or banking password;
- Arrive unannounced at someone’s home to administer the vaccine;
- Demand proof of identity by sending copies of personal documents such as a passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.
Where to report if you are a victim of fraud:
- If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to email@example.com. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.
- If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
- If you have any information relating to vaccine fraud you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline online; covidfraudhotline.org or phone 0800 587 5030.
Covid-19 Text Message Scams
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For more advice on keeping safe from scams during the pandemic, visit our page dedicated to adult safeguarding advice in the context of Covid-19.