(News source: published on behalf of Surrey County Council)
Fraudsters are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way of scamming people out of their money.
Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards are working with NHS Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to highlight what residents should expect from a genuine Covid-19 vaccine invitation.
The bogus texts, calls and websites ask people to enter their bank details with the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine in return.
Dr Sally Johnson, NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG’s Clinical Lead for COVID Vaccinations, has provided information regarding what to expect from your vaccine invitation.
Dr Johnson added, “We will never ask for financial details in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID vaccination is free and it is only provided on the NHS. Please visit the Surrey Heartlands CCG dedicated Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions page to find answers to a number of questions about the vaccination programme in Surrey.”
Surrey County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Protection, Denise Turner Stewart, said, “Please ensure that you all pass this vital information on to your loved ones, to prevent them from being scammed out of their money – I cannot stress this enough.
“It is appalling that we have malicious people out there exploiting the roll out of this much needed vaccine and causing further distress to our residents. We know that many victims struggle with their self-esteem and mental health after being scammed and residents are already coping with the pressure of lockdown and the lack of social interaction, therefore we are determined to raise awareness and prevent these crimes.
“Residents must report any suspicious messages, we will investigate and we will prosecute if appropriate.”
You can check authenticity of invites and report all scams by:
- Suspicious text messages should be forwarded free-of-charge to 7726. Your provider will investigate the origin of the text and act, if found to be malicious.
- If you have received an email which you’re not sure about, forward it to the 'suspicious email reporting service' at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you or someone you know receives large amounts of unsolicited phone calls and are susceptible to being scammed, we may be able to supply a free call blocker, email email@example.com for more information on this.
You may receive a call from a different GP practice than your usual one, this is because practices have come together to pool resources.
Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards is currently investigating a number of potential scams that they have found and are encouraging residents to report any suspicious messages.
You will not be cold called on your doorstep in relation to COVID-19 vaccines. If this happens, please contact Trading Standards on 0300 123 2329 or call 999 if you feel threatened.