As coronavirus vaccines are being administered across the country, with people receiving invitations to be vaccinated in several different ways now, fraudsters are trying to cash in by targeting residents who are waiting for the call to vaccination.
An email is doing the rounds which attempts to trick people into handing over their bank details. It was reported more than 1,000 times in 24 hours on the 25 January. It’s meant to look as if it has come from the NHS and asks the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details.
People in Chiswick are among those to have received the scam emails. Tony Cardiff from Glebe Estate said on social media:
‘I have just received an email purporting to be from the NHS advising me to get in touch to arrange my COVID vaccinations. On first glance it looks like a genuine NHS email but It was sent to an old email address and I know I’m way down the list to get one so I checked further and it turns out it is a known scam. Looking at the detail behind the senders email address I can see it was sent from an address in Japan. I’ve forwarded it to email@example.com Apparently the scammers will ask for bank details saying it’s part of the registration process. The NHS will not ask for bank details when the time comes.’
Image above: Scam vaccination email
Above is an screenshot of the email. Although it may look like a genuine NHS email, upon closer inspection, by hovering over the email address in the inbox, the email address ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ pops up, revealing the email to be fake.
Fraudsters are ‘despicable’ – Head of fraud reporting centre
The NHS will never ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.
If you receive a text message from an unfamiliar number, do not respond to it or click on any links, do not enter any personal or log on details and do not make any payment.
The Head of Action Fraud (The national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre) Pauline Smith, has warned the public to remain vigilant as fraudsters continue to act:
“It’s despicable that fraudsters will take advantage of such an important tool in the fight against this evil and deadly disease. Not only are the people being targeted with this email at risk of losing money, or having their identity stolen, but they are also at risk of not receiving the real vaccine.
“The public have been fantastic at reporting these scams to us and raising awareness in their local community as well. But 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.”
For further information visit the Test and Trace section of the NHS website.
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