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Beware of vaccination scams

With the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine beginning this week, please beware that criminals are seeking to exploit the pandemic further.

Fake Text Messages & Calls in our region
In Basildon Essex scammers have been targeting residents with fake text messages. Essex Trading Standards have warned that the messages ask residents to click a link in order to book their vaccination, before proceeding to take personal details and payment requests. The Covid-19 vaccination is FREE and you will never be asked for payment.
In other parts of the country, people have also received phone calls to book non-existent ‘vaccine appointments’. They are asked to confirm their booking by pressing a number
on their phone which results in them being billed by their provider.

‘VIP’ vaccine tickets
Phishing scams continue to circulate, many now claiming to offer ‘VIP’ vaccination tickets that will allegedly put people at the head of the vaccination queue - for a price.
Similar to the scams that have been seen throughout the pandemic, they will often ask you to click on a link or provide personal/banking details to pay for the ticket.

Also please bear in mind, particularly at this time of year and with the circumstances stimulating a huge increase in online shopping, that 70% of scams happen when buying goods online from fake websites, adverts and social media. If you are buying from somewhere you have not used before, take extra steps to check the product and seller are legitimate before you pay. Be sceptical, be careful and remember that if something is too good to be true, it probably is

‘Tell2 over a brew’ is a communication initiative that empowers you to discuss crime prevention messages with others in your life, who otherwise may never know. Start with ‘tell2’ and ask them to do the same. An unbroken chain of 26 tell2’ers would reach 67 million people. It starts with YOU!

'Take Five’ is a national campaign to offer straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations. Find out more here.