Be vigilant of vaccine fraud

Be wary of criminals trying to exploit the vaccine rollout

The COVID-19 vaccine is being exploited by criminals. They are using it as a way to target the public and tricking them in to handing over cash or financial details.

Criminals are sending out some very convincing text messages or calling people pretending to be from the NHS or local pharmacy, informing them that they are eligible for the vaccine.

Please be alert to these scams.

The NHS will:

- NEVER ask for payment. The vaccine is free

- NEVER ask for your bank details

- NEVER arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine

- NEVER ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of your personal documents like your passport

The four most common vaccine scams


Text messages

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 and fraudsters collecting personal information to use again.

Phone calls

Victims receive a phone call from a fake caller offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details.

Websites

Fake URL links to convincing-looking NHS vaccine booking forms, these look like official NHS forms and may contain some personal information already, at the end of the form it asks for their bank details.

In person

Fraudsters are calling unannounced at the homes of victims by pretending to be from the NHS to administer the vaccine there and then, in exchange for a cash payment.

Protecting yourself


Please check with the guidance provided on the official government website if you have concerns over any requests you have received.

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, you should report this directly to Action Fraud online; or via phone 0300 123 2040.

If you have any information relating to vaccine fraud you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline online or phone 0800 587 5030.