Coronavirus Vaccine Rip-off Warning – That is how the NHS will really contact you
Please note the following to avoid fraud
The way scammers contact you is likely to vary. However, here are some examples of vaccination fraud. Action Fraud, the National Crime Agency (NCA), and the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) saw:
- Fraud on the doorstep – In one case, a 92-year-old woman in London was charged 160 pounds and given a fake vaccine on her doorstep, which she was told would be reimbursed by the NHS.
- Suspicious text messages – Some people have reported being sent a link to a vaccine booking website that mimics an NHS page but asks for personal information, including bank account numbers.
- Calls – Fraudsters are known to use phone calls to extract payments or bank details which can then be resold to organized criminal gangs or used to order and pay for goods online.
- Emails – In other scenarios, so-called phishing emails can be used to trick you into revealing your personal and financial information.
The following is an example of a scam email received by an MSE team member this past weekend that is purportedly on behalf of the NHS with an opportunity to sign up for a vaccine. It's worth noting that the email itself doesn't appear to ask for any information or bank details. However, you will be asked to either confirm or decline your vaccination by clicking a link.
According to Action Fraud, these links usually take you to an external website that is likely to ask for this information. If you receive such an email, don't click the links to learn more, just delete it.
Another alarm bell is that the team member who received this email is in their twenties and does not meet the current rollout criteria. In England, vaccines are only offered to people over the age of 80, some people over 70, some people at high clinical risk, people who live or work in nursing homes, and health and social workers.
Another point to look out for in email and copywriting is bad grammar and spelling mistakes – this is often a tell-tale sign that it is a scam. In this email, for example, there is a double point at the end of the first paragraph. It is also labeled as the "NHS Test and Trace," which is not the body sending out vaccine invitations.