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Beware of Covid-19 text scams run by cyber criminals

Cyber criminals are using Covid-19 as an opportunity to send out ‘phishing’ text messages, which try to trick people into clicking on a bad link.  Messages are short and simple and often claim to be from a known organisation, such as the NHS, your bank or GOV.UK.  We are aware of a current scam which is asking people to book their Covid-19 vaccination via text, which takes you to a fake NHS form asking for bank details.  The NHS will never ask for your bank details.

Other top scams include:
  • Fake links to claim Covid-19 related payments
  • Lockdown fines suggesting you have breached lockdown
  • Offers of health supplements that will prevent you becoming infected
  • Financial support offers that appear to be from your bank
Please remain vigilant and challenge messages that don’t feel right. Recommended step by step actions to take: 
  • Dont respond 
  • Report the SMS scam to Action Fraud 
  • Forward the message to 7729 ("SPAM" on the keypad) 

For further information and guidance visit NHS Counter Fraud Authority 

Please also be aware that there are some people giving fake 'vaccines' in exchange for payment, which could potentially be harmful to your health. The Covid-19 vaccine will always be free from the NHS and you will be offered a vaccine once you are eligible. 

The Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline 0800 587 5030 has been set up to receive anonymous reports of suspected fraud.  You can also report a crime online via Crimestoppers

COVID Vaccine scams in South Asian languages 

BBC Asian Network is helping people in the South Asian community to spot potential scams, with advice in five South Asian languages: Urdu, Punjabi, Sylheti, Tamil and Gujarati


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