Fake Covid-19 Vaccine Scam Text

Scammers continue to exploit the confusion and urgency of the coronavirus pandemic to commit fraud on unsuspecting victims – this time by way of a fake text claiming the recipient can get a dose of one of the newly-approved vaccines. The bogus message, seen below, states that the recipient is entitled to a vaccine and to receive more information they should click on the link in blue.

Unfortunately these texts are completely fake and if the link is clicked the recipient is taken to a webpage, branded to look like a genuine NHS page, which requests to see ‘proof of ownership of address’ in the form of their bank account, sort code and a full bank card number.

Please do not give any bank or card details to make payment for a vaccine or to prove your residential address. Coronavirus vaccines are administered free of charge. Your surgery or the NHS will not ask for any money or bank details.

(N.B. Both the text message and the fake webpage it links to have spelling and grammatical errors which help to identify its illegitimacy but the scammers may get wise to that soon so don’t be fooled by a message that doesn’t appear to have such mistakes).

Beware also telephone calls claiming to be from NHS instructing you to press a key to confirm you’d like to receive the vaccine or asking for bank details as affirmation to receive the vaccine. Both are likely to result in financial fraud – either as a charge on your bill or unauthorised use of your bank account.

For genuine COVID-19 related advice including vaccination information, visit www.gov.uk and www.nhs.uk

Forward suspicious texts to 7726.

Bogus BT Telephone Call

Beware of a scam telephone call recently received from 0208 0400389 by one of our partners. The call stated, in an automated voice, “This is to inform you that your BT contract will be terminated tomorrow due to illegal theft and hacking activities. To restore your account and resolve the current scenario press 1 to talk to our investigation team right now. Please press 1 now. Thank you.

You can listen to the message here.

Most people will realise this is not a genuine call, either because they aren’t even a customer of BT or because they are already aware that scams like this happen. However, fraudsters can use technology to attempt these calls on a very large scale, often specifically targeting older or vulnerable people. Therefore the call could likely reach people who are not aware this is fake and who are sufficiently alarmed into pressing 1.

Please tell your colleagues, friends, family and neighbours never to press 1 if any cold call instructs them to do so. This will likely result in a hefty fee on their bill or connection to a threatening or persuasive criminal who knows exactly how to trick someone out of their money.

The instruction to press 1 is a common tactic of many telephone scams. Fake HMRC calls suggesting you owe tax or are due a rebate are a common example. In each and every case please do not press 1 or any other key instructed. And do not be reassured by a local or familiar looking number (in this case a London area code) since fraudsters can ‘spoof’ numbers to disguise their real origin and look like a local or UK call.

Report phone scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk

Please stay safe and spread the word. Thank you.

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Bitcoin-related investment scams

Action Fraud has received over 750 reports in the last week about Bitcoin-related phishing emails that use fake celebrity endorsements to try and lure victims into investment scams. The links in the emails lead to fraudulent websites that are designed to steal your money, as well as personal and financial information.

How you can protect yourself:

  • Investment opportunities: Don’t be rushed into making an investment, legitimate organisations will never pressure you into making a transaction on the spot.
  • Seek advice first: Speak with a trusted friend or family members, and seek independent professional advice before making significant financial decisions.
  • FCA register: Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register to check if the company is regulated by the FCA. If you deal with a firm (or individual) that isn’t regulated, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if things go wrong and you lose your money.
  • For more information about how to invest safely, please visit: https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
  • Forward suspicious emails: If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk

To see examples of the Bitcoin-related phishing emails that have been reported to Action Fraud, follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

Please forward this message to any friends, family members, or colleagues that may find this information useful.