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Vaccine fraud: be alert

Criminals are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them to hand over cash or financial details. They are sending convincing looking text messages letting people know they are eligible for the vaccine or phoning people directly pretending to be from the NHS, or local pharmacy.

People are wanted to be alert to these scams:

Text messages

People are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine, doing so is likely to result in a chareg being applied to their phone bill and fraudsters collecting personal information to use again.

Phone calls

Vicitms receive a phone call from a fake caller offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details.

Websites

Fake URL links to convincing-looking NHS vaccine booking forms, these look like official NHS forms and may contain some persoanl information already, at the end of the form it asks for their bank details.

In person

Fraudsters are calling unannounced at the homes of victims by pretending to be from the NHS to administer the vaccine there and then, in exchange for a cash payment.

The NHS will:

  • NEVER ask for payment - the vaccine is free
  • NEVER ask for your bank details
  • NEVER arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • NEVER ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport.

Like other scams, the same advice applies:

  1. Challenge - couldit be fake? It's ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests that don't feel right. Check Gov.uk to make sure its genuine.
  2. Do not respond to text messages that try to get you to send money, or important personal information such as bank details or passwords.
  3. Use official government websites and refer to 'Contact Us' sections of websites to access information and service.
  4. Challenge unannounced callers to your home, NHS visits if necessary will be agreed with you directly or via carers, they will never turn up unannounced.