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Police issue advice on Covid scams


By David G Scott

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People across Caithness are being reminded of the need to be vigilant to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent messages claiming to be related to the Covid-19 vaccine programme.

Scams can be circulated via text messages, phone calls and emails, as well as in person through cold callers presenting at people's homes.

Chief inspector Anton Stephenson, of Police Scotland's Safer Communities Division, said: "We are asking the public to continue to be alert to potential scam messages connected with coronavirus vaccines. These include text messages, phone calls and emails.

Cyber criminal preying on online users during Covid-19 outbreak.
Cyber criminal preying on online users during Covid-19 outbreak.

“Messages suggest people are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine and in some cases ask for payment. People should be aware that unsolicited emails, text messages and calls may not be from the person or organisation which they appear to be from.

“The NHS, and indeed other government departments, will never ask for any form of payment for a vaccine or to confirm your identity. I would urge anyone who is concerned they may have provided personal or financial information via a link in a message of this sort to contact Police Scotland on 101.

"Similarly, if someone comes to your property claiming to be offering coronavirus vaccines for a fee, do not engage with them, close and secure your door, and call Police Scotland.

Scammers especially target the elderly and vulnerable within the community.
Scammers especially target the elderly and vulnerable within the community.

"We are working closely with partners to deter this kind of scam and make Scotland a hostile environment for scammers. We will pursue anyone who sets out to cause this kind of harm and anxiety to our communities, especially linked to a national health crisis when people are understandably anxious as the vaccine programme is rolled out across Scotland.

“If you receive any communications relating to vaccines that you are in anyway concerned about please contact your GP who will be able to confirm your status regarding a vaccine and do not give out any personal details or payment information."

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