By Hannah Kelly
Cyber Security Technologist
COVID scammers posing as the NHS are targeting people via text and offering the vaccine for cash.
The texts are also offering recipients the chance to register for vaccination, which is catching people out especially the elderly and vulnerable.
The NHS would never ask or require you to prove your identity in this way, and no genuine organisation would send unsolicited texts asking for banking details.
Scammers are sending out links to a fake NHS website and visitors are then prompted to input their bank details, supposedly for verification purposes.
In some cases, people are prompted to reply to a message to confirm their interest in receiving the vaccine. Anyone replying then faces a hefty fee on their phone bill.
Scammers have used the pandemic as an opportunity to prey on the fear of individuals and they’ve stolen millions of pounds in the last year according to Action Fraud. Scams have included selling ‘Covid Cures’, non-existent PPE, and posing as official sources.
• Always check text messages or email integrity by opening a browser to check official websites. Never click on internal links provided in unsolicited emails or texts.
• If you think a phone call might be fraudulent, you can either hang up and forget about it or you can hang up and then source the official number for the organisation to double check the information that has been given to you.
• You can also check the NCSC guidance for small businesses on Avoiding Phishing Attacks here at: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/small-business-guide/avoiding-phishing-attacks