Police warn of COVID scams in Somerset

Avon and Somerset Police are reminding people across Somerset to be wary. There have been an increasing number of reports of scams asking people to wrongly pay for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Nationally, Action Fraud recorded more than 1,000 reports of phishing emails and fake text messages. All scams trying to get people to pay for the COVID 19 vaccination. connected to the vaccine roll-out in just one day.

Please note: In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Service. You can be contacted by the NHS, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. The vaccine is therefore free and at no point will people be asked to pay for one.

The scams fraudulently claim to be from the NHS. They ask the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details. You will never be asked for these details in connection with COVID 19 by the NHS.

Detective Sergeant Louise Sinclair, of Avon and Somerset Police, notes “It is despicable anyone would seek to capitalise on the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in this manner….. but regrettably these heartless fraudsters are preying on people and trying to profiteer over this deadly virus. We’re asking people to spread the word and make everyone aware of the scam. I’d urge people to speak with family members and friends to alert them to this vaccine phishing scam out there.

If you become aware of scams like these, please report any suspected cases to Action Fraud. Call 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

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