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Scammers sending fake vaccination texts

Police say fraudsters have been sending fake NHS text messages informing people they are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.

The scam message reads: “We have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine,” which prompts you to click on a link to find out more and to “apply”.

The link directs you to a convincing fake NHS website, where fraudsters can coerce you to divulge personal or financial details.

Fake text messages have been sent
Fake text messages have been sent

A police spokesman said: "Any texts or emails containing URLs should always be treated with caution and we urge members of the public to avoid clicking links in unsolicited texts or emails.

"Texts or emails that ask you to provide information such as your name, date of birth or financial details are scams and if you’re ever unsure about these types of messages, ignore or delete them.

"Cold calls that ask you to provide personal or financial details or ask you to pay over the phone to access the vaccine have also been reported. If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately.

How to protect yourself from scams

Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated and they also come in many forms, making it difficult to distinguish real messages from fake ones. Below are some useful tips to avoid falling victim to any scam:

  • If you receive a text or email containing attachments or links from unknown senders, do not open them. Move emails to your spam inbox, delete the text messages and block the number if you can.
  • If possible, use 2-factor authentication to provide extra protection to your online accounts. Visit the National Cyber Security Centre for more information.
  • Never give out your personal information or financial details in response to emails, texts or phone calls. Always verify who you are speaking with.
  • Look out for fake websites and if you’re unsure, check the domain name.
  • Check for errors in spelling. Messages or emails riddled with spelling mistakes are normally linked to phishing attacks.

To find out more about types of scams and how to protect yourself from them, visit Lincolnshire Police's Frauds and Scams page on their website.

If you’ve been a victim of a scam

If you think you have been a victim or know of someone who has fallen victim to an online fraud:

  • Contact your bank immediately to tell them what’s happened.
  • Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or online.

The spokesman added: "Please share this warning with friends, families, neighbours and colleagues so we can prevent anyone from falling victim to scams."

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