Aberdeenshire residents warned of text scam ‘selling’ Covid vaccine

Residents across the North east are being warned about a dangerous scam related to the Covid-19 vaccine.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 14th January 2021, 7:00 am
People do not have to pay the NHS to receive the Covid vaccine.
People do not have to pay the NHS to receive the Covid vaccine.

A fake NHS text has been circulating, telling people they’re eligible to apply for the vaccine and asking for payment.

The text message states: ‘NHS – We have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine’, and asks people to ‘apply’ by clicking on a link.

The link then takes you through to a convincing-looking but fake NHS website which asks for your personal details and bank account and card details.

Cold calls about the vaccine are also taking place, with people asked to pay for it over the phone. If you receive one of these calls, hang up.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards service is asking people to be particularly vigilant – and stresses the public do not have to pay for the vaccine through the NHS.

Gary Glasgow, Trading Standards team manager, said: “Scammers are continuing to take advantage of people’s fears and concerns during the pandemic and this scam illustrates the extent that these criminals will go to in order to obtain someone’s personal and banking details.

“The text message and the website look very convincing.

“But we would like to remind residents that the NHS will not ask you for payment or bank details if you are identified as someone eligible for vaccination.”

NHS Grampian will be in touch with people to arrange a vaccination appointment when they are eligible.

It’s important not to contact your GP practice for a vaccination before then.

For more information, visit the NHS website

Professor Caroline Hiscox, chief executive of NHS Grampian, said: “I cannot stress enough that we will be in touch directly with people to explain how and where they can receive their COVID-19 vaccination. There is no charge for this.

“Anyone suggesting otherwise or requesting your bank details is trying to deceive you.”