A dangerous fake NHS text has been circulating, telling people they’re eligible to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what it looks like.
A member got in touch with us today when they received a text message purporting to be from the NHS.
It confusingly stated that “we have identified that your are eligible to apply for your vaccine” and advised him to follow a link to get more information and ‘apply’:
This URL takes you through to an extremely convincing fake NHS website that asks for your personal details, but the member became suspicious when it asked for his bank/card details in order to ‘check his identity’.
It was then that he began spotting spelling mistakes on the site and in the SMS itself, which we’ve warned many times before are classic signs of a phishing scam.
We found that the fake site was also registered just two days ago – another reason to be suspicious, and one that demonstrates the importance of reporting these scams as soon as you receive them.
As of 26 January, variants of this scam are now also being reported:
I got this via email. It looks very real and so does the site that it takes you to. BUT they ask for bank card details! This is so difficult especially when we read we may be contacted to book via email, text or letter. pic.twitter.com/koIv0tHAR2
— UCARE 💙 (@UCAREoxford) January 25, 2021
Remain vigilant of coronavirus scams
We know that criminals will use the confusion and urgency around the pandemic as a way to target potential victims – we’ve covered five similar attempts here on Which? Conversation already:
With the recent approval of multiple vaccines in the UK, these types of scam attempts are likely to continue as fraudsters look to take advantage of the rollout to so many people.
If you think you may have handed over your card details to scammers, let your bank know what’s happened immediately.
You can then attempt to recover any money lost by following our guide here.
Have you received this fake NHS vaccine text or any other type of scam relating to the vaccine?
Let us know in the comments if you have, and please do share this warning with friends and family so we can prevent anyone from falling victim.
Cold calls regarding the vaccine are also beginning to take place – we’ve already had reports of scammers asking people to pay for it over the phone:
If you receive one of these calls, hang up.
The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccine, likely by letter from your GP or from the NHS itself. However, if you’re aged 70 or over or you’ve previously received a letter saying you’re high-risk, you no longer need to wait to be contacted and can book your appointment online.