4th February 2021

New vaccine email scam emerges

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has been sent a copy of an email using the vaccine rollout as a cover to steal personal details.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
Above all, we must tell friends and family to be wary of these scams and report them to the authorities

The latest in a long line of COVID-19-related email scams claims to come from the NHS. It informs recipients that “the NHS is performing selections for coronavirus vaccination on the basis of family genetics and medical history. You have been selected to receive a coronavirus vaccination.”

The email then asks the recipient to confirm whether or not they wish to be vaccinated. Both options are embedded with a link to a website which requests personal details. Scammers could use these details to steal the respondent’s identity, putting their bank account and assets at risk.

The message attempts to convince recipients that it is legitimate by containing several paragraphs about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The scammers try to rush the recipient to provide their response, informing them that they are supposedly “required to reply to this invitation within 12 hours of this notification.”

Katherine Hart, a Lead Officer at CTSI, said: “At this vulnerable time, different kinds of scams themed around the pandemic continue to target the public. These scams can come in the form of emails, texts, telephone calls and on the doorstep.

“Brexit-themed scams are also taking hold – fraudsters pivot to theme their scams according to whatever is in the news. Above all, we must tell friends and family to be wary of these scams and report them to the authorities.

“I cannot overstate how important it is to report scams, as this provides vital intelligence to the police and other agencies, and speeds up the process by which fraud networks are taken down.”

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