Dorset Police warn of scam Covid vaccine emails

Swanage residents have reported receiving very convincing scam emails offering vaccines – and Dorset Police are urging people to watch out for these fraudulent messages offering it for a charge.

While thousands of Dorset residents have been vaccinated against Covid, scammers are continuing to send fake messages claiming to be from the NHS asking for payment in exchange for the vaccine.

These emails are fraudulent and should be ignored and reported. The vaccine is free of charge under the NHS, and no payments or bank details will ever be requested.

Covid vaccine scam email
Dorset Police

An example of a fraudulent vaccine email

“Remember, the vaccine is free of charge”

On their social media feed, Dorset Police said:

“Please be aware of emails and texts like these where you are asked to pay for a vaccine.

“In the UK, coronavirus vaccines will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge.”

Spot a scam

Dorset Police points to several key indicators that a Covid vaccine message or offer is a scam.

The NHS will under no circumstances ask for bank account or card details, nor will they request a PIN or any other banking password.

Real NHS messages will never ask for personal documents such as passports, driving licences, bills or payslips as proof of identity.

Emails are not the only way scammers may look to exploit the vaccine rollout. They may also attempt to send fraudulent text messages.

No one will ever come to a home unannounced to offer the vaccine – and residents should not trust anyone who tries.

Covid vaccine scam email
Dorset Police

An example of a fraudulent vaccine email

Report to Action Fraud 

Police advise that any incident of suspected fraud should be reported as quickly as possible.

Anyone who believes they are the victim of a fraud should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Hang up the phone if you receive a call you think is fraudulent. Suspicious emails should be forwarded to report@phishing.gov.uk, and text messages to the number 7726, for which there is no charge. 

Dorset Police added:

“Please share this information with friends, family and anyone else who might be vulnerable to this type of scam.”

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