ACTION FRAUD has warned UK residents that Covid-19 related text scams have become rampant, and have issued guidelines on how to spot fraudsters.
Hundreds of people across Britain have been targetted by malicious scammers exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to steal the bank details of unfortunate victims.
There have been widespread reports of individuals receiving texts claiming to be from the NHS, telling recipients that they are eligible for the virus vaccine. Once they open a link embedded in the message, they are brought to a website where they are asked to authenticate their identity by entering bank details. This is how the cruel cybercriminals manage to steal the money of victims.
To educate the public on how to avoid these scams, Action Fraud UK has issued guidelines on how to detect fraudsters so as not to become their latest unlucky victim.
The anti-scammer agency reminds the public that the UK Covid-19 vaccine is totally free, and the NHS will never ask you for any bank details including your pin or password. As soon as you see a website asking for these details, exit immediately as you now know it is inauthentic.
Legitimate government and business websites will usually have short domain names (e.g www.nhs.uk) and will never feature irregular words or phrases. They will also almost never use emails at Gmail or yahoo, so if you receive a message from one of these providers claiming to be health workers be very skeptical.
Another tell-tale sign of scammers is if you receive an email that does not address you by name. These may open with “to our valued customer” or “dear (email address).” Real government agencies and legitimate businesses will have access to your full name, scammers rarely will but will try and trick you through sneaky openings.
Authentic health workers will never arrive at your home unannounced to administer the vaccine. There have been recent reports in Britain of this particularly ruthless scam, in which fraudsters administer a fake dose to unwitting members of the public under the pretense of being NHS workers. They usually ask for money, which they claim will be compensated. Always close the door in the face of these con artists.
As the pandemic causes public health fears, it is vital that everyone is aware of the opportunistic scams that are running rampant and educate themselves on how to not fall for them. Elderly people and those unskilled in technology are most at risk and should be fully informed of these fraud practices so they do not become victims.
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