Health leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have been made aware of several attempts by con artists to try and trick the public into sharing personal information, using invites to COVID-19 vaccination appointments as a cover.
The warning comes amid several reports of criminals attempting to trick personal details from people keen to get the vaccine.
There have been numerous reports of the public reporting suspicious text messages with a link to a booking site which mimics an NHS page, but asks for personal details including bank account numbers.
Additionally, there are national reports of a scam email that includes a link to ‘register’ for the vaccine, but no registration for the real vaccination is required. The fake site also asks for bank details either to verify identification or to make a payment.
We have been made aware of this email circulating in the local area and want to urge the public to be wary of these scams and double check who has sent the email to you and to also never click the link if you are suspicious.
Dr Sarah Raistrick, GP and Chair at NHS Warwickshire North and NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said: “It is absolutely despicable that the NHS COVID vaccination programme is being used for fraudulent purposes by people looking to gain personal information and bank details.
“Please make sure you check the source of where the information has come from. The NHS will not send emails inviting you to a COVID vaccination, this will be by letter, text or a phone call. The NHS will also never ask for your personal information or your bank details. The COVID vaccination is being offered free to people in the priority groups at this time. You can not pay to beat the queue, there is no option to buy the vaccine.
“If you suspect any message or letter is fraudulent, contact Action Fraud or contact the government phishing email. Do not click on any link if you think it is suspicious. Delete it and report it.”
The NHS will contact you when it's your turn to have the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination. The vaccine is being offered at larger vaccination centres, pharmacies and some local NHS services such as hospitals or GP surgeries.
When it's your turn, you'll be contacted by letter, text or a phone call from your GP practice with information on how to book your appointment. If you're invited to have your vaccination at a larger vaccination centre or at a pharmacy, you will receive a letter. You will not receive any email asking you to book.
If you're invited to have your vaccination at a local centre such as a hospital or GP surgery, you'll usually get a text or phone call. You may sometimes get a letter.
You can choose to go to a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge on the NHS and so you will never be asked for:
- your bank account or card details
- your pin or banking password
- copies of personal documents to prove your identity such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips
Nor will there be any mention of genetics as the citing reason as to why you have been invited to receive the vaccine. Currently, the vaccine delivery programme is being prioritised for:
- People aged 80 and over
- Some people aged 70 and over
- Some people who are clinically extremely vulnerable
- People who live or work in care homes
- Health and social care workers
If you think you have been a victim of fraud or identify theft, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
View the full poster here
Alternatively, you can help stop the scammers, rather than delete any spam / phishing emails why not forward (you don't have to open an email to do this) to firstname.lastname@example.org.