Residents across the north-east have been warned about a new scam offering a Covid vaccine in return for payment.
The fake NHS text says NHS – We have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine and includes a link to a “convincing-looking” website, which asks for personal and bank account details.
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray trading standards teams have warned people to be aware of the new scam, as well as a new round of cold calls asking people to pay for the vaccine over the phone.
People are being reminded they will not have to pay for the vaccine through the NHS, and that the health board will be in touch to arrange a vaccination appointment when individuals are eligible.
Vaccinations will be delivered through the NHS free of charge with members of the public urged to remain patient by national clinical director Jason Leitch.
I love that everyone is impatient for the vaccine and keen to help protect themselves and others. We will get to you…please be patient. Don't call your GP, they know you're there. The NHS will be in touch. We will get to you as supplies arrive.
— Jason Leitch (@jasonleitch) January 6, 2021
Prof 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.”
Aberdeen City Council’s Trading Standards manager Graeme Paton said: “We are especially concerned that vulnerable people might be taken in by these scams.
“The text message and fake NHS website look very convincing and, with people keen to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as possible, they might easily think they’ve been chosen.
“Please delete these text messages and block them, and hang up if you get cold calls asking to pay for the vaccine.”
Gary Glasgow, team manager with Aberdeenshire Council’s Trading Standards, added: “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.”
And Moray Council’s Trading Standards manager, Karen Sievewright, said: “Scams can look authentic, but remember the NHS will never ask for bank account details or a billing address. If you see any potential vaccine scams, please report these and protect a vulnerable resident from being taken advantage of.”
If you receive the message or cold calls, or are concerned about any scam or potentially fraudulent messages yo can contact your local authorities trading standards team at;