Police issue warning due to increase in vaccine scams
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As the vaccine continues to be rolled out nationally, police are warning of an increase in reports of fraudulent activity where people are being asked to pay for Covid-19 vaccinations.
Anyone who suspects a case of this fraud, or receives a request of payment for the injection, is asked to report the incident to Action Fraud.
The scams claim to be from the NHS and ask the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details.
Detective Sergeant Louise Sinclair, of Avon and Somerset police, said: “It is despicable anyone would seek to capitalise on the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out in this manner, but regrettably these heartless fraudsters are preying on people and trying to profiteer over this deadly virus.
“The key thing to remember is the jab is free. You will not need to pay a penny and if you are being asked for payment or banking details, then it is a scam. You should not input any personal or financial information and contact police if you are unsure.”
The vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland in the UK. Contacts to receive the vaccine could come from the NHS, an employer, GP surgery or local pharmacy.
DS Sinclair added: “I’d urge people to speak with family members and friends to alert them to this vaccine phishing scam out there.
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“It would be dreadful if someone fell victim to a scam like this and missed out on a potentially life-saving vaccination because of fraud.”
Police are advising people to hang up on calls they believe are fraudulent. Anyone who receives a suspicious email is asked to forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.
Victims of fraud are encouraged to report incidents to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 03001 232040 or by logging on to www.actionfraud.police.uk