Residents urged to beware of Covid scams

Monday 18 January 2021

Residents are being reminded to be vigilant against fraudsters exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to scam people. The latest scam reported to trading standards and the police fraudulently offers a Covid-19 vaccination.

Text messages claiming to be from the NHS have told people they are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine and asked them to apply providing payment details.

The Covid-19 Vaccination is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you directly when it is your turn. At present, the priority groups are care home residents and carers, frontline health workers and members of the public over 80 years old.

The NHS will never:

  • ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine.
  • ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.

Lead Member for Community Safety, Cllr Emma Will has said:

“It’s appalling that people are still finding ways to exploit others in this pandemic. The vaccine is a beacon of hope after such a tough time and to promise a fake vaccine to scam people out of their money is truly despicable.  

“The NHS will never ask for your bank details to administer the vaccine – it’s free.

“These scams are sophisticated and it could happen to any of us, so please stay vigilant and report fraudulent emails, messages and calls to us and Action Fraud.”

Scammers have been taking advantage of the pandemic since March, claiming to provide information, advice or support. Other scams to look out for include:

Messages claiming to be HMRC offering a support payment and scam emails from the government offering a tax rebate in light of the recent pandemic. These scams ask for bank details. Genuine emails from the government will never ask for bank details.


Scammers taking advantage of those working from home, claiming to be from well-known broadband providers and gaining access to the victim’s computer or phone.

Avoid falling victim to a scam:

  • Don’t click on links or attachments in unexpected texts, emails or instant messages.
  • Challenge every request for your personal details.
  • Don’t respond to unexpected phone calls, regardless of what they say or know about you, hang up, take five then verify their claims via a trusted method. (such as the official website or official phone number).

To report a scam visit the Action Fraud website. For more information about how to spot scams visit https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-spot-a-scam