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NHS Covid pass scam warning

From today, until any easing of the government’s plan B restrictions that hope to tackle the spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant are announced, adults must now show a COVID pass to enter nightclubs and other large events in England. But with this, comes scams.


The new measures coming into force require proof of double-vaccination or a negative PCR or lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours for those attending some venues.


The rules apply to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with a capacity of more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues that hold more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people.


To prove their status, people can use the NHS COVID Pass app, or a text message or email from NHS Test and Trace.



However, consumer website Which? has shared a warning over a NHS Covid scam circulating in the UK amid confusion over the new rules.


The scam targets victims by exploiting the rollout of the pass. So it’s important to note that vaccine passes are completely free. The NHS will never ask for payment.


People have reported receiving texts and emails claiming to be from the NHS. The message reads: “You are now eligible to apply for a Covid Pass proving you have been vaccinated against COVID-19”


The message includes a link that appears to be to the NHS website but is in fact a scam website set up to secure your personal details. This is the phishing element of the scam.


Which? has issued a scam alert, warning people of the potential threat to their personal details. Their recent Tweet can be seen below.


How to spot scams and what to do if you see one


The warning signs to look out for include:


  • A cold call - someone contacts you about something that you didn’t request or expect.

  • Fantastic offer - the offer sounds very attractive yet too good to be true.

  • A sense of urgency - you’re told that the offer is only available for a limited time or that you must act quickly.

  • Odd language - the wording in the email or letter doesn’t sound right, or it has bad spelling and grammar.

  • Secrecy - you’re told not to tell anyone.

  • Upfront payment request - you’re asked to pay money upfront or send a fee without an agreed contract.

  • Information request - you’re asked to give personal information or banking details.



 

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).

 

The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.

 

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