Daughter’s anger at Covid vaccine conman who posed as doctor to target elderly mum
- Credit: Archant
The daughter of an elderly woman targeted by a conman claiming to be a doctor delivering the Covid vaccine said her mum feels "scared" in her own home and has warned others to be vigilant.
The 79-year-old woman, who wished to remain anonymous, received a knock at her door in Thorney Road, in Capel St Mary, on Tuesday by a man wearing a doctor's badge.
He said he was there to deliver the vaccine, but she didn't recognise him from the village surgery and asked him to leave.
The victim had also received phone calls from an unknown person asking if she lives alone and that they would be coming to her house with the coronavirus vaccine.
The victim's daughter, Claire Fraser-Lim, said the incident has left her mum feeling "vulnerable and scared" in her own home.
She has been living alone at the property since the death of her husband in April last year and is very isolated, as she does not drive.
"It's awful that someone could take advantage of her at a time like this," she said.
"She has been really scared and upset by it and she is now struggling to sleep. It's made her feel really vulnerable."
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Straight after the man left, the victim called her daughter to explain the situation, and instantly Mrs Fraser-Lim knew something was wrong.
She thought it was unusual as her mum is not housebound and her husband had also seen the reports of a similar incident in London, where a woman paid more than £100 to a conman and was given a fake Covid vaccine at her home.
Mrs Fraser-Lim reported the incident to Suffolk police and an investigation was launched with the help of Suffolk Trading Standards, which is the enforcement service responsible for protecting consumers and legitimate traders from scams and unfair trading.
A spokesman for Suffolk police said: "We are urging people to remain vigilant of cold calling fraudsters claiming to be from the NHS, and to share this warning with friends, neighbours and relatives and especially those who might be isolated and therefore more vulnerable to scammers.
"Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area, or who may have information is asked to contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting CAD 264 of January 27."
A spokesman for Suffolk Trading Standards, added: "We don’t know the true intentions of the caller, whether it be an attempted distraction burglary or if the man would have attempted to get the resident to pay for a 'vaccination', but please warn all friends and family that the NHS will not arrive unannounced at your door to supply you with the vaccinations."
The incident comes just days after trading standards issued a warning following a rise in Covid vaccine scam phishing emails.
Officials said the bogus email contained links to a website requesting financial details to pay for the vaccine.
Suffolk Trading Standards said the NHS would never ask for payment or bank details for the free vaccine.