Police encourage public to report vaccine scams

Katherine Johnston (03 February, 2021)

'Sadly, criminals will exploit any opportunity to take people's hard earned money. Even a global pandemic will not stop them'

30555Photo: Stock

The Met is encouraging anyone who sees or is victim to a vaccine scam to report it to the authorities.

Although the number of confirmed fraud cases are described as ‘small’, officers believe many incidents are not being reported to police, leaving other people vulnerable to scammers.

Three COVID-19 vaccine scams were investigated by the Met’s cyber crime unit in December last year.

The vaccine is free on the NHS and patients will be contacted by their GP or doctor to arrange an appointment. They will never be asked for their bank details.

Detective Sergeant Josh Pool, from the Met’s cyber crime unit, said: “Sadly, criminals will exploit any opportunity to take people’s hard earned money. Even a global pandemic will not stop them.

“It’s positive to see that so few people have fallen victim to fraudulent vaccine scams in December, however we are concerned that people may not always be reporting when they have been deceived to us or to other authorities such as Action Fraud.

“With the rollout of the vaccine picking up pace, we want to remind the public how they can help keep themselves safe.”

In one example reported to the Met, a text message was sent out telling possible victims that they were eligible to apply for the vaccine.

When the recipients clicked through to the link on the text message, they were taken to a website with NHS branding. They were then asked to provide their sort code, account number and long card number.

Similar scams are delivered by email, voicemail or text, and ask for personal details.

Report scams to either the Met’s website: https://www.met.police.uk/ or Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk


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