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Don’t become a victim of the coronavirus crooks

Covid scam

Even in these hard times, there are sadly some people who will try and take advantage of others and Barking and Dagenham Council is getting wind of a number of coronavirus scams taking place.

As the vaccine is being rolled out, fraudsters are trying to trick people into booking a fake vaccine and in the last few days, Action Fraud has received a number of reports of people receiving text messages claiming to be from the NHS and offering them the opportunity to sign up for the coronavirus vaccination. 

The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases, the online form looks very similar to the real NHS website. 

To keep yourself and your family safe from such scams, remember: 

•    The vaccine is only available on the NHS for free to people in priority groups, and the NHS will contact you when it is your turn. 
•    The NHS will never ask for payment or bank details to confirm or book your vaccine.
•    Right now, the NHS are not making house calls to deliver or discuss the vaccine. Anyone offering this now is probably committing a crime.

Barking and Dagenham Council also found out this week, that at least one resident has had a call from someone pretending to be from the council offering to come out and give them the vaccination. 

The council wants to make residents aware that they will not be contacting anybody about getting a vaccine and they must be aware of such scams. 

Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “It’s heart-breaking to hear that there are people out there trying to take advantage of this hard situation we all find ourselves in. I want to remind everyone that the NHS will formally contact you regarding the vaccine and will never ask for payment.

“I also want to encourage residents, especially our elderly and vulnerable to be aware of these scams and to always check and double check before giving their details over the phone or allowing people into their homes. If unsure, they should contact the council.”

If a resident believes they have been contacted by a scammer, they should report it to tradingstandards@lbbd.gov.uk.  

Further information on scams and how to keep yourself safe, can be found online

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