City thinking, local knowledge

Be aware of coronavirus vaccine scams

By Questa Chartered

The increasing numbers of coronavirus vaccines being administered across the UK is a major breakthrough in the fight against COVID and the gradual return to normalcy. It’s a great cause for relief and a real glimmer of hope. That being said, there are also reports of fraudsters taking advantage of the situation and exploiting those seeking the vaccine.

ActionFraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, have issued a warning to the general public to remain vigilant and aware that these criminals are out there, and have given advice on how to protect yourself from them.

The number one rule to remember is that in the UK the coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the NHS. They will not be available from any other source, and they will always be free of charge. The only legitimate sources that may contact you regarding your vaccination are the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or a pharmacy local to you.

If you were to receive an email, text message, or phone call claiming to be the NHS (or any other source) which asks you to provide financial details, or to pay for the vaccine through any channels, that is a scam.

There have been reports of fake text messages, which claim to be from the NHS, including a link to an online form. The form may look very similar to the NHS website but it is in fact fake. If you have any concerns whatsoever about the legitimacy of the messages, emails or phone calls you receive regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, take a moment to step back and assess the situation. If you are not certain that it is from a legitimate source and that it is not requesting financial information, call your GP directly and check with them.

ActionFraud have a website page with more information, which you can visit at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/vaccine.

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