Policies & Procedures
Plans for emergencies
COVID vaccination scams
Published: 04 March 2021
As if we haven’t all had enough to deal with and worry about since the outset of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the situation has unfortunately been exploited by fraudsters with fake offers of vaccinations. At times of disasters and other crises, there is invariably an increase in fraudulent activity, for example, bogus charity donation requests. The current pandemic, unprecedented in its effects and global reach – is no exception. A massive increase in reliance on the internet and people’s concerns about their and loved ones’ health, wellbeing and finances have combined to create ideal conditions for fraud.
Over the last year, commonplace COVID-19-related scams have included fake advertisements for PPE to priority online shopping slots, HMRC monetary grants to travel refund services, and fake NHS Test & Trace messages informing recipients that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, and need to buy a home testing kit. A more complete list can be found at
With the UK vaccination programme in full swing, the most recent wave of scams has focused on fraudulent offers of vaccinations, attempting to persuade recipients that they can ‘jump the queue’.
The scams, which are perpetrated via email, text or telephone call, either request payment for a vaccination, or link to authentic looking but fake websites which harvest your confidential information. Those who fall for such scams fall victim to financial fraud, identity theft or both.
Avoiding COVID-19 Vaccination Scams – Top Tips:
COVID-19 vaccines in the UK are available only via the NHS
of England, Wales and Scotland, or from Health & Social Care Northern Ireland.
Remember that the NHS will
for a COVID-19 vaccination
Ask you for your
bank account or card details
Ask you for your
PIN or banking password
or memorable details
at your home to administer the vaccine
Ask you to
prove your identity
by sending copies of personal documents such as passport, driving licence, bills or payslips.
If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent,
How you will be contacted to get your COVID-19 vaccination
The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to have the vaccination, by letter, text or email, with information on how to book your appointment. The vaccination is
free of charge
without exception. The vaccine is being offered at larger vaccination centres, pharmacies and some local NHS services such as hospitals or GP surgeries.
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