Coronavirus related scams. Information for patients

NHS Digital has alerted us to several ongoing spam email and SMS campaigns seeking to exploit vulnerable people and impair coronavirus vaccination efforts. These campaigns variously claim to be from the UK Government, the NHS, Test and Trace, GP surgeries, pharmacies, or from other health organisations like the WHO. Typically, the content of these messages attempts to direct users to phishing sites or connect them to high-cost premium number services, although in some cases the messages contain false or misleading information about the coronavirus vaccines themselves.

 

To protect yourself and your family members from fraud and criminals, remember the following points.

  • The vaccine is only available from the NHS and is being offered to people in priority groups. Vaccination is free and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn or if you are over 70, you can now contact the National Booking Service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or ringing 119 free. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you, to receive your vaccine. 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.
  • ask for payment or for your bank account or card details, to pay for a vaccine or to confirm your eligibility for the vaccine.
  • ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine – at the moment we are also not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine.
  • ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills, bank account details or pay slips.

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.

Please remember: If you are asked to pay for the vaccine or asked for your bank account details, it is a scam.