Derbyshire residents warned of Covid-19 passport scam as fraudsters pretend to be part of NHS

Residents in Derbyshire are being warned of a Covid-19 passport scam which aims to trick people into handing over their personal banking details.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 1:52 pm

Vaccine passports have become a key part of life in the in the UK as they can be used to prove you’re vaccinated against coronavirus before attending events or when travelling abroad.

But, it appears fraudsters are now taking advantage of the scheme by creating an email and text which pretends to be from the NHS as part of a bid to trick people out of cash.

Derbyshire police say a number of residents across the county have reported receiving a scam text message as they urged people not to fall for the fake Covid-19 passport invitation.

A number of Derbyshire residents have reported receiving a scam text message inviting them to apply for Covid-19 passports

The force said: “Fake emails on the Covid-19 vaccine passport have also been reported in other parts of the country.

“Please do not click the link. The scam works by taking getting people to click the link to take them to a fake site, designed to look like the NHS.

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"They will ask you to fill in your personal information and payment details for a small fee, sometimes called an administration fee. The details will then be used to take more money from your bank account.

"Remember, the NHS vaccine pass is free and you can find details on your eligibility and how to get it through the NHS website. Our advice would be to search for the pass yourself rather than clicking links sent to you through text or email.”

They added: “Never click on links in suspicious texts and emails – and don’t enter any personal or financial information.

"If you’ve clicked on a link and you think it’s a scam, contact your bank immediately.

"Be wary of any out of the blue approaches about the Covid-19 vaccine or passports. If in doubt, check the official NHS site for information or contact the organisation in question directly.”

The NHS says it would never ask for bank details, and the vaccine is free.

You can report fraud or cyber crime through the online reporting service for Action Fraud via https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

The service enables you to both report a fraud and find help and support.

You can also access help and advice over the phone through the Action Fraud contact centre on 0300 123 2040.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Sam Jackson, editor.