Coronavirus Vaccine Scams:

No matter what happens in life, there are people waiting to take advantage where they can. And the pandemic has sadly proven to be no exception. As advisers, we all too often see the fallout of scams. So, when they arise, we do try to alert our audiences to them.

Be Alert!

As always, we plead, whether you are already a client or not, if something sounds too good to be true, call us before committing to it. We will always be happy to check opportunities are genuine before you go ahead. And that is especially true of the current situation where coronavirus vaccine scams have begun circling. 

Scams are nearly always designed to prey upon your anxieties. They usually come with a degree of urgency to act, too – so feeling ‘pressure’ (especially in the form of a time restraint) should always sound an alert in your mind.

This is also why the coronavirus vaccine scams have taken off with such speed and success. There is a captive audience, justifiably worried by the spread of Covid-19 and desperate for normality to be restored. Perfect conditions for fraudsters to prey upon people’s anxieties and to exploit those seeking the vaccine. 

Current Coronavirus Vaccine Scam Alerts Raised

ActionFraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, has issued a warning to the general public. They have urged people to remain vigilant and aware that coronavirus vaccine scams are out there. Additionally, they have provided advice on how best to protect yourself.

They urge you to remember that, in the UK, the coronavirus vaccines are only available from the NHS. They can not be found elsewhere, and there will never be a charge for them.

The only legitimate sources that are allowed to contact you regarding vaccination are the NHS, your employer, a GP surgery or your local pharmacy.

What Shape Do Coronavirus Scams Take?

Should you receive an email, text message, or phone call claiming to be the NHS (or any other source) that asks you to provide financial details or pay for the vaccine through any channels, that will be a scam.

So far, people have reported fake text messages, which purport to be from the NHS, including a link to an online form. While the form may look very similar to the NHS website, it is, in fact, fake. So, please take care to ensure any texts or emails are genuine before acting on them.  

What Action Should You Take?

As always, if you have any concerns whatsoever, it’s best to take a step back. Allow yourself to assess the situation. Most importantly, give yourself time to check the legitimacy of any messages, emails or phone calls you receive regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In cases where you remain unsure whether a communication is genuine and it does not request financial information (the biggest no, no!), call your GP directly to double check with them. They will be happy to confirm either way.

If you would like further information specifically about coronavirus vaccine scams, please do check out ActionFraud’s dedicated webpage. And, as always, if there is anything we can help with around financial concerns, please do call us on 01243 767469. We’re always here and happy to help where we can!

Written by Ian Barnett

Ian is an experienced Chartered Financial Planner as well as being a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, with over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry.  With a broad range of client experience and expertise, Ian specialises in financial matters from Pre-Retirement Planning to Inheritance Tax Planning and all points in between.

Want to Speak to a Financial Adviser?

As always, if you would like to speak to one of our reputable, independent financial advisers, please do call us on 01243 767 469. Alternatively, you can email us from our contact page, and an adviser will be in touch.