How to avoid being a victim of Covid-19 vaccine fraud and how to report a scam

Tap above to watch Met Police video warning of the dangers of getting scammed

Londoners are being warned to watch out for Covid vaccine scams after the Met Police reported a rise in the number of reported cases.

The Met's Cyber Crime Unit has investigated several bogus schemes as criminals exploit the rollout of coronavirus jabs.

"We are concerned that people may not always be reporting when they have been deceived to us (the Met) or to other authorities such as Action Fraud," said Detective Sergeant Josh Pool, from the Met's Cyber Crime Unit.

"With the rollout of the vaccine picking up pace, we want to remind the public how they can help keep themselves safe," he added.

So how are people getting scammed?

  • Vishing (Voice calls)

People are being contacted by phone offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details. They are also asked to press a number of their phone keypad or to send a text message to confirm that they wish to receive the vaccine. Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill.

  • Smishing (SMS)

Potential victims receive a text message offering them the vaccine. They are prompted to follow a link that redirects them to a very convincing fake NHS website that requests personal/financial information.

  • Phishing (E-mail)

Phishing emails encouraging users to fill out a form to register for a vaccination. Perpetrators are typically hoping to extract personal information/user credentials.

Police said "absolutely no one" should be providing their bank details to the NHS when it comes to receiving the vaccine.

"This example shows how sophisticated criminals are making their scams and why law enforcement will continue to remind the public about the things to look out for," said Detective Sergeant Josh Pool.

Anyone who receives what they believe to be a vishing, smishing or phishing form of communication is asked to report it on the Met Police or Action Fraud websites.

Phishing emails can also be forwarded to and smishing texts to 7726.