Fake NHS text message on vaccine application circulating in Derbyshire

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Derbyshire police has warned the public of a fake text message purportedly from the NHS, informing people that they’re eligible to apply for the Covid-19 vaccine.

The scam message reads ‘we have identified that your are eligible to apply for your vaccine’ and then asks to click on a link for further information or to ‘apply’ for the vaccine.

This URL will then lead to an extremely convincing fake NHS website, where fraudsters are attempting to coerce people into divulging personal or financial information.

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Derbyshire police warned the public not to fall victim to a fake NHS text messageDerbyshire police warned the public not to fall victim to a fake NHS text message
Derbyshire police warned the public not to fall victim to a fake NHS text message

Derbyshire police said: “If you receive a text or email that asks you to click on a link or for you to provide information, such as your name, credit card or bank details, it's a scam.

“Any text message containing a link should be treated with caution. The best way to find information from GOV.UK, or any other agency, is to visit that particular website via a trusted source (such as through Google or Bing) and do not click on links in unsolicited texts or emails.”

There have also been incidences where people receive cold calls regarding the vaccine, where scammers are asking them to pay for the vaccine over the phone.

"If you receive one of these calls, hang up,” the police said.

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They also reminded the public not to open any attachments or click on links in emails or texts from unknown senders.

"Never give out personal information, financial details or passwords in response to an email, text or phone call without verifying that the person is who they claim to be.

“Block any numbers that arouse suspicion. Set up spam filters on all of your accounts. Always go to a website directly, by typing out the address yourself, when logging into an account.

“Look out for fake websites by sense-checking the domain name. Keep an eye out for numerous spelling mistakes in messages, these are normally linked to phishing emails and texts.”

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Those who have fallen victim or know someone who has been a victim of online fraud are urged to contact the their bank and report the offence to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

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 digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.