Don't get caught out by Covid jab scammers, warns council

The NHS will launch a round-the-clock vaccination service as soon as possible, Boris Johnson has said.

Scammers are tricking people into paying for fake Covid-19 vaccinations - Credit: PA

People have been warned not to fall foul of Covid scams, as the council reminded people it does not charge for vaccines.

As the vaccine is being rolled out, fraudsters are trying to trick people into booking a fake vaccine with text messages, phone calls and house visits. 

The vaccine is free and only available on the NHS to people in priority groups, who will be formally contacted by the health service when it is their turn.  

The NHS will never ask for payment or bank details to confirm or book an appointment. 

It is not currently making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine, so anyone who offers this is most likely a scammer.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “It’s heartbreaking to hear that there are people out there trying to take advantage of this hard situation we all find ourselves in. 

“I want to remind everyone that the NHS will formally contact you regarding the vaccine and will never ask for payment.” 

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In the last few days, Action Fraud has received a number of reports of people receiving text messages claiming to be from the NHS and offering them the opportunity to sign up for the coronavirus vaccination.

The texts ask the recipient to click on a link to an online form, which prompts them to input personal and financial details.

In some cases, the online form looks very similar to the real NHS website.

The council said it is aware of at least one resident receiving a call from someone pretending to be from the council, offering to come out and give them the vaccination.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: A

Cllr Margaret Mullane is reminding people that the NHS will never ask for payment or bank details to book or confirm a vaccine appointment. - Credit: LBBD

Barking and Dagenham Council will not contact anybody about getting a vaccine.

Cllr Mullane added: “I want to encourage residents, especially our elderly and vulnerable, to be aware of these scams and to always check and double check before giving their details over the phone or allowing people into their homes. 

“If unsure, they should contact the council.” 

If you believe you or someone you know has been contacted by a scammer, email to report it.