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.
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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Census 2021 Scams
Census 2021 Day might be over, but census field officers are visiting homes to provide support on completing the census for those that have not already done so. Census-branded reminder letters are also being sent out.
Census field officers will never ask for payment or bank details. They will never ask for personal details such as a national insurance number and they do not need to enter your home.
You will never be issued with a fine on the doorstep.
You will never be issued with a fine by text message, phone call or email.
Fake HSBC Texts
We’ve previously warned of smishing texts, falsely claiming to be from Lloyds Bank, providing the recipient with a link to click if they had not set up the alleged new payee on their account (see image below). This scam is designed to trick the recipient into thinking there has been unauthorised activity on their account and to lure them into giving their banking information in order to stop any outgoing payments. The fraudster sending the message is then able to steal money using the recipient’s banking information.
Smishing text claiming to be from Lloyds Bank
At the time of our warning we suggested that this scam was unlikely to exploit only Lloyds Bank’s name and that a version of the message was likely to be sent from other telephone numbers and using the names of other banks too.
We now have some examples of similar smishing texts, received by residents of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, this time purporting to be from HSBC. Please see below.
Smishing text purporting to be from HSBC sent by 07833 941725
You will see that this message is very similar to the fake Lloyds text in that it claims a new payee has been set up on your account. As before it gives a link for you to provide information about your account to supposedly stop a new payee being set up.
Another version of this message has been received by a resident as below, the only difference being a slightly different description/name of the link, a different fictitious payee name and a different number that sent it.
Smishing text purporting to be from HSBC sent by 07487 559281
The warning signs that these messages are not genuine are:
N.B. Even if a message seems to come from a trusted sender such as your bank i.e. if it is automatically logged in a list of previous genuine messages from your bank, do not assume it to be genuine. Fraudsters can ‘spoof’ numbers to appear like a legitimate entity. Always check the authenticity of a message by telephoning your bank or visiting a branch before clicking on any links. Do not click on any links in SMS (text) messages that you do not know to be genuine.
Forward suspicious text messages to 7726.
In the case of e-mail messages that phish for your information, report to email@example.com .
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