By Tarvin Webteam - 27th January 2021 6:00am
There as been a marked increase in coronavirus vaccination scams recently. Many will come in the form of emails or telephone calls suggesting that the recipient has been selected to receive a coronavirus vaccination and there will be a link to click on to make an appointment.
The key to spotting scam emails is to click on the sender's address to check its legitimacy.
One example of such an email was received by a member of our editorial team this evening it read:
"The NHS is performing selections for coronavirus vaccination on the basis of family genetics and medical history.
You have been selected to receive a coronavirus vaccination.
NOTE: The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.
Use this service to confirm your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.
You will need to:
* have 2 doses of the coronavirus vaccination at 2 appointments
* book both appointments at the same time
* get the 2nd dose 3 to 4 weeks after getting your 1st dose
Who can use this service
You can only use this service if you have received an e-mail/SMS regarding this invitation. You can not use this service for anyone other than yourself.
You are also free to reject this invitation, your appointment will be issued to the next person in line in that case.
Please confirm or reject your invitation by selecting an option below."
As you can see from this example, these emails can be very convincing, and when the email appears to come from the NHS it is tempting to click on the link.
If it looks legitimate but you are at all unsure, contact your local doctor's surgery to check.
Neighbourhood Alert and Action Fraud advise the following to stay safe from these scams:
- The Covid-19 vaccine will always be offered free of charge
- you will be contacted by the NHS, your employer, GP surgery or a pharmacy local to you
- you will never be asked for personal documents or passwords
- you will never be asked for bank account or card details
Do not let anyone offering the Covid-19 vaccination into your home unless arranged by your GP.
Look out for loved ones and pass on the advice so they can spot a scam.
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 email@example.com. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.
If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.
Ed: In such a challenging time, how sad that such people prey on the vulnerable to make a buck.