Police issue warning as Covid vaccine scammers steal thousands from 'desperate' public
22 February 2021, 10:12 | Updated: 22 February 2021, 12:23
West Midlands Police have said that scammers are looking to "take advantage of people’s desperation".
The public have been warned against a coronavirus vaccine scam, which sees fraudsters pretend to offer people the jab in exchange for payment.
West Midlands Police have said that they are looking to "take advantage of people’s desperation" to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
The force have said that they have received 26 reports of people being tricked into paying money for what they thought was the jab, which is free on the NHS, after receiving fake invitations.
Scammers are targeting victims by phone call, text and email.
Birmingham Live reports that scammers have pocketed around £3,500 from victims in the West Midlands area.
Officers have warned people never to put their bank details in illegitimate websites, as you "risk exposing your account to fraudsters".
They have also urged the public not to click on emails from unknown sources, as they "could contain malware that will infect their device."
Chloe Guy, from the force's economic crime unit, said: "Although the vaccination programme is being rolled out at a rapid pace there are still some con artists looking to exploit people’s desire to be vaccinated.
"Although the vaccination programme is being rolled out at a rapid pace there are still some con-artists looking to exploit people’s desire to be vaccinated," said Chloe Guy, from the police's economic crime unit.
"If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details or pay for the vaccine, this is a scam.
"You can be contacted by the NHS, a GP surgery or pharmacy local to you, to receive your vaccine. Remember, the vaccine is free of charge. At no point will you be asked to pay."