According to Derbyshire Constabulary’s community messaging system, Derbyshire Alert, a number of Derbyshire residents have reported receiving a scam text message inviting them to apply for Covid-19 passports.
The NHS vaccine pass, which is free, can be used to prove you’re vaccinated against coronavirus before attending events or when travelling abroad.
Yesterday (July 12), Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that from July 19 almost all pandemic restrictions will end. And while Covid passports won’t be mandatory to enter clubs, pubs and events, Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that hospitality settings will be “supported and encouraged” to use a certification system to check if customers have had a recent negative test or have been double-jabbed with a vaccine.
And with many Brits eager to return to some degree of normality, it appears scammers are already trying to use this scheme as part of a bid to trick people out of cash. Fake emails for the Covid-19 vaccine passport have also been reported in other parts of the country.
The advice, as always, is not to click the link. The scam works by getting people to click the link to take them to a fake site, designed to look like the official NHS website.
You will then be asked to fill in your personal information and payment details for a small fee, sometimes called an administration fee. The details may 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 apply through the NHS website - NHS COVID Pass for events and travel - NHS (www.nhs.uk) You should always use the official source rather than clicking links sent to you through text or email. The following tips can help you stay safe from this and other Covid-19 related scams. • 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.
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).