Vaccination scams: what to be aware of

Published on: Thursday, 4th March 2021

Since the increased levels of roll-out of vaccinations across the relevant groups, a number of scams have been seen on-line.

VACCINATION SCAMS: 5 ways to avoid COVID-19 vaccination scams online

  • ALWAYS check.  GOV.UK has all the information you need.  Unless, recognised as an official NHS source, always use GOV.UK
  • ALWAYS check the legitimacy of e-mails or text messags received regarding vaccination appointments.
  • NEVER buy or be made to pay for a vaccine - especially over the internet.  Vaccines are given freely by official bodies only and in official, organised premises.
  • ALWAYS double check that the organisations contacting you about your vaccine are who they say they are. Genuine organisations and personnel will understand.  Don't allow yourself to be co-erced.  Strange links, strange e-mail and website addresses with words and letters you don't recognise (particularly long, complex web/e-mail addresses), links to the same, warnings that you will lose your place in the queue if you don't click certain items etc. are sure signs of spam or fraudulent communications.
  • If in doubt, contact your healthcare provider directly or a government official.

COMMON SCAMS:

  • Not who they say they are: Fraudsters can pose as members of organisations that you trust - i.e. healthcare, doctors, hospital, NHS, chemists etc. seeking to gain your trust, offering a vaccine or a test but for a fee, taking where paid, but that is the last you'll hear from them.
  • Phishing: E-mails which promise a vaccine if you fill a form in with details such as personal information and banking numbers.  Fraudsters steal these details - offering you a vaccine is NOT part of their plans!
  • Shopping: You pay the supplier believing you'll get a vaccine in return, but you don't get one!  Always rely on reputable, reliable and known sources for your vaccine.  Never get drawn in by offers which might suggest you will get a vaccine sooner than you should!

TO CONCLUDE - be aware...

  • If it seems too good to be true;
  • If you were contacted without prior permission and particularly by someone you don't recognise;
  • If you were asked to give personal information of any kind;
  • If you were asked to pay.

REMEMBER: You will be contacted through known and reputable sources when you are eligible to receive your vaccine.  The groupings of age groups being vaccinated is well publicised on-line, on the television and radio.  Don't let fraudsters draw you in and cause you worry at an already stressful time.

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