Warning follows Covid vaccine phishing scam surge

The programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 will start early next week

The programme of vaccinating people against Covid-19 will start early next week - Credit: Getty Images/Istockphoto

People in Suffolk are being warned of a criminal scam offering non-existent coronavirus vaccinations.

Victims of the scam have been approached via text and recorded message, and asked to divulge personal financial information in order to book a Covid-19 jab.

Suffolk Trading Standards said it expected to see an increase in the number of similar scams.

Authorities have advised the public that anyone due for the vaccination would be contacted by the NHS. 

People are being urged to stay vigilant to vaccine related phishing email scams, which may include highly emotive language designed to manipulate victims into supplying login credentials or personal information.

Suffolk Trading Standards said: "We are hearing reports across the country of people being contacted out of the blue with offers of a coronavirus vaccination. 

"The approaches have been made by text and from a recorded voice message on the telephone. 

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"In each case, the recipient is required to respond by clicking a link in the text message or by pressing '1' when receiving the call. 

"They are then asked to give personal information, as well as financial details to book their vaccination.

"These are scams. Criminals are exploiting the current situation to attempt to steal personal details and your money.

"The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. These people will be contacted by the NHS.

"There has been a surge worldwide of vaccine related phishing email scams containing malicious files that installed malware, or links to bogus websites to obtain the victim's information."

You can protect yourself from vaccine-themed phishing campaigns by checking the email addresses on incoming messages and being alert to hyperlinks that contain misspelled domain names; be aware of highly emotive language; do not supply login credentials or personal information in response to an email; monitor key financial accounts regularly, and keep software and apps updated.

Report all scams via the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133.

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