The UK's national reporting center for fraud and cybercrime has cautioned the public to be alert for fraudsters criminally exploiting the CCP virus crisis by pretending to be signing people up for vaccines.
“Remember, the vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge.”
The NHS will not at any stage ask anyone to pay for a vaccine, the center said.
Vaccine Scams on the IncreaseAs of Jan. 7, Action Fraud said that, though it had received just 57 reports of the vaccine-related scams, the crime was on the increase.
“Thankfully, the number of reports into Action Fraud are relatively low but we have seen an increase in the last two months,” Smith said.
She also said the fraud was particularly being attempted by criminals via scam text messages.
“The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details," the center said.
Police WarningsLocal police forces have also been warning of the vaccine-related fraud.
It said the scam message reads, “We have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine.”
It then prompts recipients to click on a link for further information or to “apply” for the jab before taking them to an “extremely convincing fake NHS website, where fraudsters are attempting to coerce people into divulging personal or financial information.”
Derbyshire police said that fraudsters are even calling potential victims.
“Cold calls regarding the vaccine are also beginning to take place, where scammers are asking people to pay for the vaccine over the phone,” the police said. “If you receive one of these calls, hang up.”
“Unfortunately, this is yet another example of how scammers are using the Covid-19 pandemic to target people and prey on their fears,” the police said.
Action Fraud said that the only organisations making valid contact with people over vaccines were their GP's surgery, the NHS, their local pharmacy, or their employer.
It advised those receiving suspect calls to hang up, and those receiving suspicious emails to forward them to email@example.com or to forward texts free of charge to 7726.