Throughout the pandemic, consumeradvice.scot have seen scammers targeting consumers, with scams including the sale of fake PPE and the targeting of the Test and Protect programme. Criminals are now targeting the crucial roll-out of the vaccination programme.
consumeradvice.scot have received reports of Covid-19 vaccination scam emails and texts sent to consumers containing links to websites that look like the official NHS site.
These websites often ask for the name, address, and other personal details of the person accessing them, and often request payment card details.
Even more concerning, are reports to organisations of consumers who have been visited in their homes by scammers claiming to be administering vaccinations, with subsequent requests for payment for this ‘vaccine’.
In these circumstances, consumers have also been injected with an unknown substance, posing both a risk to their health, and allowing the scammer to see what they can take physically from their target.
Scammers are using official NHS branding in attempts to look legitimate and appear like texts and emails are from a familiar and reputable source.
If consumers receive contact claiming to be from the NHS, and they are unsure of its legitimacy, they should avoid clicking on any links in texts or emails. Members of the public should also watch out for spelling mistakes and errors in emails and messages, and on any websites that they access.
We would also recommend checking the email address that has sent the correspondence. Very often these will be from longer, more complex email addresses sometimes containing additional numbers, and may even appear to be from email addresses that look like personal ones.
Additionally, you will not be asked to pay for a Covid-19 test or vaccination, and the official test and protect service, nor the NHS will ask for any bank details or payment information.
You can contact the NHS or Test and Protect service directly to check whether a contact you have received is legitimate or not.
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If you have supplied payment information or bank details, you should contact your bank, or card provider directly and advise that you may have been targeted by a scammer.
Scottish consumers should remain scam aware, think very carefully before sharing their personal information, and if they think a message or an email involving NHS initiatives doesn’t look or seem right, then it probably isn’t!