Urgent warning over fake NHS vaccine text asking for your money

Lancashire Police have issued a warning over a very convincing scam where fake NHS text messages are sent to people informing them that they are eligible to apply for the covid-19 vaccine.

The scam message reads: “We have identified that your are eligible to apply for your vaccine”.

It then prompts the recipient to click on a link for further information or to apply’ for the vaccine.

A link with the text takes them to an extremely convincing fake NHS website, where fraudsters are attempting to coerce people into divulging personal or financial information.

Social media users have shared screenshots of the fake messages in a bid to make people aware and prevent people falling victim to fraudsters.

Blackburn and Darwen Police also posted a picture of the scam text on their Facebook page, saying: “Please be aware of a scam that has been circulating asking for bank details.

“The scam via text message highlights that you have been identified to receive a vaccine and to prove ownership of address asks for bank card details.

“Never pass your details to unknown senders as credible companies will never ask for any personal details.”

If anyone receives a text or email that asks them to click on a link or for them to provide information, such as name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam, said a spokesman for scam awareness group Action Fraud.

A spokesman for the NHS said: “The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. Anyone offering a paid-for vaccine is committing a crime.

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

“At the moment we are also not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine. Anyone offering this now is committing a crime.

“If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.”

“Where the victim is vulnerable, and particularly if you are worried that someone has or might come to your house, report it to the Police online or by calling 101.”

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine began being rolled out by the NHS across the UK from January 4.

The “game-changing” new vaccine was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) last week, paving the way for the next stage of the phased vaccination programme.

The NHS will be the first health service in the world to deliver the life-saving jab, with hundreds of new vaccination sites to be set up this week, joining the 700 which are already in operation.

Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine which has to be kept at minus 70 degrees until shortly before it is used, the new Oxford vaccine is easier to transport, making it easier to deliver in care homes.

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Lancs Live – Cumbria