West Sussex residents warned about Covid-19 vaccine scam

West Sussex residents are being warned about a text message scam that is contacting people and asking them to book a Covid-19 vaccination.

Friday, 8th January 2021, 2:08 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 2:10 pm

The warning, shared by Arun District Council this week, said the text links to a fake website, requesting bank details.

"Please be very careful - the NHS does NOT ask for bank details," the warning read.

GP surgeries are also asking residents to be vigilant.

A post on Selsey Medical Practice's website read: "We are aware that some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages or emails offering the COVID-19 vaccination or asking for NHS Numbers in preparation for receiving the vaccination.

"In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details.

"The vaccine is only available from the NHS and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. You will not be asked for your NHS Number when you are contacted. At present, appointments are only being offered to members of the public over 80 years old."

The NHS will never ask you to press a button on your keypad or send a text asking you to confirm you want the vaccine and never ask for payment for the vaccine or for your bank details.

Residents are being urged to be vigilant towards a text message scam that is contacting people and asking them to book a Covid-19 vaccination. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

A spokesperson added: "If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft you should report this directly to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Where the victim is vulnerable, report it to Sussex Police online or by calling 101.

"Please do not contact the surgery regarding Covid vaccinations.

"If you have a concern about your GP practice or the advice you have received you can contact the NHS England Customer Contact Centre on: 0300 311 22 33 or email them [email protected]"