Scam alert as fraudsters offer Covid vaccine 'in bid to steal money'

Suffolk GPs are pleading with patients not to call about the coronavirus vaccine after being overwhelmed with enquiries.

Scammers are trying to trick people into giving financial details by offering coronavirus vaccines - Credit: PA

Tricksters are cynically exploiting people's hopes of getting the new coronavirus vaccine by falsely offering jabs - in a bid to steal people's personal details and money.

Suffolk Trading Standards has revealed it has heard further reports of people being contacted "out of the blue with offers of a coronavirus vaccination".

Some elderly residents have received calls saying the vaccination would be carried out at their home - but that they would need to give their name, address and financial details to pay for the vaccine.

Other approaches have come via emails and text messages encouraging people to click on links, while others have left voicemails.

Trading standards officers are clear that "no payment is required for the vaccine" and said of the fraudsters' efforts: "These are scams."

"Criminals are exploiting the current situation to attempt to steal personal details and your money.

"The NHS is currently offering the Covid-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. These people will be contacted by the NHS.

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"There has been a surge worldwide of vaccine related phishing email scams. We expect to see an increase in these."

People are urged to safeguard themselves against fraudsters by checking email addresses of incoming messages and be careful of clicking hyperlinks with mis-spelled domain names.

Trading standards also urges people to "be aware of highly emotive language designed to manipulate you" and never to supply log-in credentials or personal information in response to an email.

People are also advised to monitor financial accounts regularly to spot any irregularities.

People can report scams to Suffolk Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.