COVID-19 vaccine scams: beware of online fraud attempts

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has called for caution as online criminals are trying to con the public with scams about the Covid-19 vaccine.


Action Fraud, The National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, had received 57 reports regarding vaccine scams on 7th January, according to the NCSC.


They recommend that being on the lookout for suspicious text messages or emails regarding the vaccine which may be trying to steal personal details. The scams may even look very similar to normal communications from the NHS.


The NCSC state*:

  • The vaccine is completely free of charge.

  • 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 license, bills or pay slips.

*source: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/report/weekly-threat-report-15th-january-2021


It is vital that we all think twice before giving away any kind of sensitive information. Not only could fraud cost you personally, but it could throw your company into jeopardy.


Whether using a personal device or a work laptop or phone, be suspicious of unexpected messages and keep an eye out for spelling mistakes or unfounded requests which may indicate a scam.


If you believe you have received a scam email regarding the vaccine, then you can report it directly to the NCSC using the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) by forwarding the email to report@phishing.gov.uk.


For more information about how to protect yourself and your business from online fraud, sign up to the NEBRC newsletter on our website at www.nebrcentre.co.uk


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) are working together to support the establishment of Regional Cyber Resilience Centres (CRCs). The CRCs represent a significant opportunity for the NCSC to expand the reach of its guidance and services to smaller organisations across the country, and provide an extra level of practical support to enhance their impact. The NCSC is currently assisting the NPCC in determining the suite of cyber security services that the CRCs will be able to offer.