Swanage residents should remain alert for fraudulent texts claiming to offer the COVID-19 vaccination.
As the coronavirus vaccine is rolled out across Purbeck, reports of related scam calls and texts have been reported.
Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging people to be aware of these fraudulent messages and learn to identify the cons.
Swanage Medical Practice is currently contacting people to book vaccine appointments by phone and letter.
An example of a scam vaccine text
Recognise a scam
There are a few telltale signs that a vaccine related message is fraudulent.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free to people in priority groups via the NHS, and you will be contacted when it is your turn to receive it. Anyone claiming to offer it for money is committing a crime.
When the NHS contacts you, they will never ask you to click a button or send a confirmation text. They will also not ask for any payment or bank details.
If you are offered a house call to deliver or discuss the vaccine, this is also a scam and it is a crime to offer it.
“We will contact you”
Ultimately, residents should remember that the NHS will be in touch when it is their turn to get vaccinated.
Dr Karen Kirkham, local GP and Clinical lead for the Dorset COVID-19 vaccination programme, and Assistant Clinical Director of NHS Dorset CCG, said:
“It’s really important that people are aware of how to protect themselves and their family members from fraud and follow the advice on how to do this.
“At the same time, we’d like to provide reassure to local people in Dorset that the NHS will be in touch when it’s your turn to be vaccinated. Please don’t contact us to seek a vaccine. We will contact you. We hope this is helpful. We’d like to thank people in Dorset for their continued support.”
Anyone who receives a text they believe to be scam should ignore it. If you think you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
If you are concerned that someone has or might come to your home – or where a victim is vulnerable – you should report it to the police on 101 or online.