Warning about the ‘sick’ NHS scam designed to steal your money

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A new SMS scam designed to resemble the NHS one asks people for their personal information and payment in order to create a ‘Covid Pass’.

Across the UK, people are being warned to be on guard following a series of new reported NHS text scams.

The text message, which is sent from a cell phone number claiming to be an official NHS communication, contains a link to a website masquerading as the official NHS site.

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The website asks users to insert the name under which they are registered with their GP practice, as well as their home address.

It then continues to ask the user for their credit card details, mistakenly claiming that a payment of £ 4.99 is required to ‘process your Covid Pass application’.

Writing on a St Helens community Facebook page, one user warned people to “be careful” after receiving the text.

She shared a photo of a text message with a link and said: ‘Everyone got it. I clicked on the link and it looks legitimate, but I can’t imagine the NHS asking me for my bank details.

“Be careful. Say I have to get a covid pass but I haven’t even had any shots.

“Scumbags, let’s hope all vulnerable people see this and don’t let it go. People are sick who take advantage of it.

An NHS Covid Pass is used to show that a person has received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine and is available to everyone in the UK through the official NHS app or website and does not require any payment.

The pass is required for people traveling abroad, as well as for entry to some domestic sites requiring proof of vaccination.

Messages are what is known as a phishing scam, a type of scam where a text message or email is sent by someone posing as a legitimate institution or person, with the sole purpose of deceiving them. people by having them provide their personal or banking information.

This new SMS scam is similar to an email scam reported in July, which encouraged members of the public to obtain their health passports before going on vacation.

The email also directed recipients to a fictitious website that collected the user’s personal information which could then be used to commit fraud.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) was made aware of the fraudulent text and said in a public statement that the attack targeted UK residents and “used social engineering in the same way as d ‘other SMS texts on the topic of the pandemic. , with a strong psychological aspect tied in for good measure ”.

CTSI wrote: “It is important to note that the UK has a real Covid Pass system in place. There is a proper process in place, and that doesn’t involve handing over money to random websites. It should also be noted that there have been a number of other scams along the same lines.

“If you receive any of these text messages, it’s safe to ignore it and report spam while you’re at it.” “

The NHS will never contact you to ask for payment details in order to get the NHS COVID pass. You can check your dual vaccination status on the NHS app or apply for a free NHS COVID pass online.

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