Covid-19 vaccine: Councils and police warn of scam text messages

Scam text message
The unfamiliar web address should ring alarm bells

People who are expecting to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are being warned to watch for scam text messages purporting to be from the NHS.

Criminals are trying to trick people into handing over their bank details by sending them messages asking them to click onto a fake NHS website, which then asks them to enter their card number.

The NHS will never ask for payment for the vaccine. Most people who are eligible for a vaccine will be sent a letter, rather than a text message, either from their GP or NHS England, giving them all the details they will need to book an appointment, including their NHS number. More details are available on the NHS South East London CCG website.

Neighbourhood Watch Network has issued this advice:

  • Do NOT click on links in unknown texts – always check it first
  • NEVER give out your personal details.
  • With the recent approval of multiple vaccines in the UK, these types of scam attempts are likely to continue as fraudsters look to take advantage of the rollout to so many people.
  • Cold calls regarding the vaccine are also beginning to take place – we’ve already had reports of scammers asking people to pay for it over the phone. If you receive one of these calls, hang up.
Fake NHS website
The mocked-up website asks for bank details – the NHS does not ask for payment for the vaccine

Councils including Bexley are also sharing this information, as are police forces. Anyone who has been a victim of fraud can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

With the vaccination process in full swing, those who want to volunteer at vaccination centres are being asked to visit

In Lewisham, a local volunteer scheme has been set up to help the vaccination programme at five centres in the borough – details are at

Greenwich has passed the grim milestone of 1 per cent of the borough’s population having tested positive for Covid-19. Public Health England figures issued today show that 1,003 out of every 100,000 residents had tested positive in the seven days to New Year’s Eve. The figure is higher in Bexley – 1,176 per 100,000, making it the 13th worst-affected council area in the UK. The rate is slightly lower in Lewisham, at 916 to every 100,000 people.

Barking & Dagenham is the worst-affected area, with 1,496 people per every 100,000 testing positive. The London average is 971.


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