Covid scams: Signs to look out for and how to report fraudsters

Be aware of fraudsters this festive season. Credit: PA

With an increase in online spending during the run-up to Christmas, festive fraudsters are also out in full swing.

Last week, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales warned people of cruel Christmas scammers after being targeted himself.

Wayne Jones, a retired police chief superintendent, was sent a fake message to “register” for a third Covid-19 vaccination. 

He said the link, which takes people to a website that appears to look like a genuine NHS site, asked for banking details. 

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner is now warning others of the "new tricks" that scammers could try this Christmas.

What Covid scams are currently circulating? 

Some of the Christmas criminals' latest new fraud tricks include:

  • Offering appointments for booster jabs

  • Offering appointments for PCR tests

  • Offering to prepare travel documentation for holidays

The Welsh Government has also warned people about Covid Pass fraud.

What to look out for?

Scam Texts - Often these will include links or attachments which can't be trusted.

Below is an example of a scam text. On the left is the text; on the right is the web page you’ll be taken to if you click on the link in the text.

An example of a Covid scam via text message Credit: Ofcom

If you notice the URL - it does not link to the UK Government website. It is a fake website which requires you to enter your personal details.

Whilst the Government do send text messages, to provide official alerts to mobile phones, the messages come from 'UK_Gov'.

Regardless of your mobile network, the wording will be the same for everyone. If the wording is different, it is unlikely to have come from the Government.

Ignore it, delete it, report it.

Alerts from the Government will come from 'UK_Gov' Credit: Ofcom

Top tips to avoid Covid criminals this Christmas

In Wales, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the NHS. You will be contacted when they are ready for you to receive your vaccine.

Remember:- The NHS does not charge for such Covid-related services.

- The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.

- The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.

- The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine.

- The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.  

What to do if you’ve been targeted? 

If you receive a call and suspect it to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email, forward it to If you are suspicious about a text message, forward it to the number 7726, which is free-of-charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by visiting or calling 0300 123 2040.

If you have any information relating to NHS COVID Pass or vaccine certificate fraud you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers online at or phone on 0800 587 5030.