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Warning over new Covid vaccine scam as NHS Grampian boss urges people not to give bank details in sign-up for jab

NHS worker Grace Thomson receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 jabs, administered by Paula McMahon.
NHS worker Grace Thomson receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 jabs, administered by Paula McMahon.

Fraudsters are conning people by asking for bank details while claiming to be arranging Covid vaccinations.

North-east authorities have warned residents of the scheme, taking advantage of those desperately keen to receive the injection.

Victims have reported being referred to a “convincing-looking” website after receiving a text which read: “NHS – We have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine”.

The site asks for personal and banking details, which are also being sought in a new cold calling scam over the phone.

Chief executive of NHS Grampian, Caroline Hiscox, 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 added: “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.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has joined Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray councils in warning against the new fraud, currently deemed one of the “top threats” by financial advisers.

Experts believe scams increased by 400% at the start of the lockdown in March.

Those concerned about scams, messages and cold callers can contact local trading standards teams.

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