10th May, 2021

West Mercia Police warning over scam NHS Vaccine email after more than 1,000 incidents in 24 hours

Tristan Harris 27th Jan, 2021 Updated: 27th Jan, 2021

POLICE have received more than 1,000 reports in the last 24 hours about a fake NHS vaccine email being sent to exploit people into handing over their bank details.

The message, claiming to be from the health service and using the NHS Test and Trace branding, asks recipients to click on a link or decline an invitation to receive the jab.

If they accept they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details.

The national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime has previously warned about coronavirus vaccine scams, with many people reporting receiving fake text messages purporting to be from the NHS.

Det Sgt Jon Cooper from the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit, has urged the public to remain vigilant as fraudsters continue their actions.

He said: “It’s despicable that fraudsters are taking advantage of such an important tool in our fight against this deadly disease.

“Not only are people being targeted with this email and at risk of losing money or having their identity stolen, but they are also at risk of not receiving the genuine vaccine.

“The public have been fantastic at reporting these scams to us and Action Fraud and raising awareness in their local community as well.

“Unfortunately, as this latest phishing campaign shows, we still have to remain cautious and alert.

“Remember: anything purporting to be from the NHS asking you to pay for the vaccine, or provide your bank account or card details, is a scam.”

How to protect yourself

Coronavirus vaccines are only available from the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

People can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine.

Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay.

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.

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.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a fraud should report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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