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New warnings of a Coronavirus Digital Passport scam

Derbyshire Alert, Derbyshire Constabulary’s community messaging system for the whole of Derbyshire, in conjunction with Neighbourhood Watch, are warning of a new Coronavirus Digital Passport scam which attempts to trick people in paying for proof of their vaccination with official NHS documentation.



The scam (pictured above) comes in the form of a Covid Vaccine Passport email that purports to be from the NHS and informs recipients that they can apply for their “Digital Coronavirus Passports” which will allow them to travel “safely and freely around the world without having to self-isolate”.


Clicking on the link contained within the email takes recipients to a convincing but fake NHS website that asks for personal and payment details. The payment is requested to cover an admin fee.


The website has since been taken down, but similar emails/websites may appear, and will almost certainly operate nationwide, so we’re urging people to be on their guard for such emails, particularly as fraudsters understand that many people are eager to travel abroad. They will also be aware that there is widespread confusion around foreign travel at the moment. Therefore, we encourage people to await government announcements in regards to foreign travel and to never pay for documentation.


Remember: your vaccination status is obtained FREE through the NHS App, website or by calling the NHS on 119. The NHS will never ask you to pay for documentation or a passport. More information can be found on the gov.uk website.


Phishing scams of this nature can be reported to SERS (Suspicious Email Reporting Service): report@phishing.gov.uk



Yesterday (June 22), Action Fraud Tweeted a message warning of a similar scam in which the NHS were seemingly sending text messages asking people to pay for their “life-saving Covid jab”, making it quicker and more convenient to get an appointment to be vaccinated. Again, the link takes the recipient to a fake website where they are asked to enter their payment details.


Action Fraud made it clear that the NHS will never ask for payment or banking details.


Like the passport scam, this scam comes at a time when people’s vulnerability is perhaps heightened. As the government looks to July 19 as the date when all Covid restrictions cease, there’s an urgency for people to get vaccinated, so naturally the messages appear convincing. If you are unsure of an appointment message you have received, you can call 119 to book your appointment.


Reporting

Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).


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