NHS warning about scams linked to Covid-19 vaccination

The NHS in south west London is warning people to be on their guard for scams linked to the coronavirus vaccine that aim to get their financial details and steal money.

It follows reports that some people are receiving suspicious calls and text messages offering the Covid-19 vaccination.

Dr Nicola Jones, local GP and GP lead for the roll-out of the vaccine in south west London, said: “The vaccine is a vital part in our defence against Covid-19 and we know people are excited about getting their jab, but sadly it also means being aware that opportunistic scammers and fraudsters will be looking to take advantage of the roll-out.

“Coronavirus vaccines are only available on the NHS. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge – at no point will you be asked to pay. When it is the right time, you will be contacted by the NHS, your employer, or a GP surgery local to you to receive your vaccine.”

The NHS will never:

  • Ask you for your bank account or card details
  • Ask you for your PIN or banking password
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.  

No entry will be granted to any vaccination site without an appointment and people are urged not to call their GP to get an appointment, everyone should wait until they are contacted by the NHS.

Anyone who has concerns about whether an approach is genuine should speak to their local GP surgery.

Anyone receiving a call they believe to be fraudulent should 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.

Background information

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute has issued two warnings recently:

  1. Fake NHS COVID-19 vaccination messages target vulnerable public
  2. Phoney COVID-19 lockdown rebate targeting public

As of 7 January this year, Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, had received 57 reports in relation to the Covid-19 vaccine.

London Trading Standards has also received reports about Covid-19 scams involving phone calls, text messaging, emails and social media.

The National Cyber Security Centre has produced a leaflet setting out what steps members of the public can take to spot cons.