Surrey Police warns residents after rise in Covid-19 vaccine scam
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Surrey Police is warning residents to stay alert to rising scams relating to the Covid-19 vaccine.
Fraudsters are sending phishing emails and texts, making cold calls and directly door stepping people with offers of a Covid-19 vaccine. Often they claim to be from the NHS and direct victims to an authentic looking website where they’re asked for their personal details. In some cases, the victim is told that someone will attend their home to administer the vaccine.
They will typically take money from the victim by charging for the vaccine or by harvesting their personal and financial details which they will use to sell or take money from their bank account.
Please remember that the NHS will never:
• Ask for payment – the vaccine is free for everyone
• Ask for your bank details
• Arrive unannounced at your home to administer a vaccine
• Ask you for your personal details via email or text.
Elderly and vulnerable people who are often isolated, particularly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, are often a target for these scams. A recent case in Surrey saw an elderly man who suffers from dementia receive a call from someone asking to visit his home to administer his Covid-19 vaccine. Fortunately, his carer arrived during the call and managed to intercept the scam. As a result, the victim’s family and neighbours were spoken to and alerted to look out for any further scams.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Walker said: “Preying on vulnerable people is completely unacceptable – and it’s even more callous when we’re facing the tough challenge of being isolated from our loved ones during a pandemic. Please check in with your elderly or vulnerable neighbours and loved ones – offer your support and keep an eye on who is visiting their homes. They might not be aware of these scams, so if you can talk to them and give them our prevention advice, it could make a world of difference.”
If you receive a phishing email or text, don’t click on any links or attachments. Similarly, if you receive a cold call hang up and report it to the Crimestoppers Covid fraud hotline on 0800 587 5030. If you’re approached at home, please contact us directly by calling 101 as soon as you can.
If you are reporting on behalf of someone else who is particularly vulnerable, please call us. We have dedicated caseworkers who will work with victims to support them and help to prevent them from falling victim to further scams.