Covid-19: Police warning over vaccine scam messages

Fraudsters are sending out fake texts offering a Covid vaccine in an attempt to steal personal and financial information, police have warned.

Derbyshire Constabulary says that the text offers a link to an “extremely convincing” fake NHS website where people are asked to input their bank details to register for a vaccine.

They also say cold callers are asking people to pay for the vaccine over the phone.

There is no charge for the vaccine.

What does the text say?

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Police said: “The scam message reads ‘we have identified that your are eligible to apply for your vaccine’ and then prompts you to click on a link for further information or to ‘apply’ for the vaccine.”

“If you receive a text or email that asks you to click on a link or for you to provide information, such as your name, credit card or bank details, it’s a scam,” the police added.

Similar warnings about the fraud attempt have been posted on local Facebook pages over Christmas and the New Year period.

When checked by the BBC, this particular fake NHS website appears to have been taken down.

It’s not the first time this scam has been attempted since the start of the vaccine roll-out.

In late December, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust issued a similar warning about fraudulent phone calls and messages.

“In some cases, 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 charge being applied to their phone bill,” the warning said.

A spokesperson for the Sussex trust said: “The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text to confirm you want the vaccine, and will never ask for payment or for your bank details.”

Source: BBC News

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