Vaccine fraudsters target the vulnerable with scam texts
Fraudsters target the vulnerable with scam texts that link to fake NHS websites demanding bank details in return for Covid vaccine appointments
- Government has started roll out of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines across UK
- But vulnerable are being warned about scammers offering access to the jab
- Fraudulent text messages and fake websites have been set up to trap people
Vulnerable Britons are being targeted with fraudulent messages offering them access to coronavirus vaccinations, trading standards bosses have warned.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said that text messages had been sent out including links to fake NHS websites that asked recipients for bank details, supposedly for verification purposes.
Such messages were first reported at the end of December on the Western Isles of Scotland, but the CTSI says they are ‘by no means limited to the region’.
Vulnerable Britons are being targeted with fraudulent text messages offering them access to coronavirus vaccinations
Since then Slough Borough Council has issued its own warning to residents about text message asking people to ‘sign up’ to get the covid vaccine through an ‘application form’ which asks for personal information and bank card details.
And Derbyshire Constabulary reported texts offering a link to an ‘extremely convincing’ fake NHS website but insisted this was a scam.
It comes as the Government announced a target of vaccinating 14 million people in the highest priority groups by February 15.
According to the CTSI, the messages – which state that recipients have been identified as ‘eligible to apply for your vaccine’ – are the latest in a series of Covid-related scams in circulation since last March.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said that text messages had been sent out including links to fake NHS websites that asked recipients for bank details, supposedly for verification purposes
Katherine Hart, lead officer at the CTSI, said: ‘I have been tracking and warning the public about Covid-19-related scams since the beginning of the pandemic, and at every stage of response, unscrupulous individuals have modified their campaigns to defraud the public.
‘The vaccine brings great hope for an end to the pandemic and lockdowns, but some only wish to create even further misery by defrauding others.
‘The NHS will never ask you for banking details, passwords, or Pin numbers and these should serve as instant red flags.
‘Do not provide any information to the scammers, but please also report suspicious messages to Action Fraud, or if in Scotland, Police Scotland, as this provides intelligence and assists authorities in combating scams.’
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