blank
Connect with us

Coronavirus

Police issue warning over COVID vaccine scams

Published

on

Heartless fraudsters are offering false COVID vaccines in a bid to cheat others out of their hard-earned cash, and make money from a pandemic in which thousands in South Wales have died.

That’s the warning from detectives, who have also urged people to be vigilant – and to warn others about such scams.

In recent weeks, alerts have been issued about fraudsters offering a fake Covid vaccine if their would-be victim pays a fee, as well as about fraudulent texts being sent in a bid to get people to part with personal or financial details.

In some cases around the UK, manipulative fraudsters – pretending to be from the NHS or a local pharmacy – have called unannounced at a victim’s home to offer to administer the vaccine in return for a cash payment. They may also ring up offering the vaccine for a fee, or asking for bank details.

In other cases, people may be asked to press a number on their keypad or send a text message to confirm they wish to have the vaccine, which could either add a charge to a victim’s phone bill or see personal information being collected.

Fake websites have also been created containing convincing-looking NHS vaccine booking forms which may ask for bank details.

However, the Covid vaccine will always be offered free of charge, and you will never be asked for bank details, personal documents, or passwords.

Detective Inspector Nick Bellamy, from South Wales Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “These criminals are innovative, manipulative and can be extremely convincing, and are choosing to take advantage of the global pandemic in an attempt to line their own pockets.

Advertisement

“The Covid vaccine will always be administered by the NHS, free of charge, and you’ll never have to provide bank or financial details, nor passwords or PINs, to get one.

“Fake messages or phone calls purporting to be from the NHS or government may ask you to provide personal information or click on a link, or offer a Covid-related government grant. Again, these are scams.”

The public is being reminded that the NHS will never:

  • Ask for payments, as the vaccine is free of charge
  • Ask for your bank details
  • Arrive at your home, unannounced, to give the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents (e.g. passport)

Police are also asking people to raise awareness of these scams with loved ones, including those who may not see this advice online.

DI Bellamy added: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen people come together to help their community and take the necessary measures to keep each other safe and protect our NHS, and the rollout of the coronavirus vaccination offers us all some hope.

“While a small minority may try to use the situation to scam others, we can all look out for loved ones and passing on this advice so they can spot the signs of a scam.”

Advertisement

If you’ve been a victim of fraud or identity theft, or think you might have been, contact Action Fraud via https://actionfraud.police.uk or 0300 123 2040. You can also visit https://bit.ly/SWPReportOnline or call police on 101.

Forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk to be investigated; suspicious text messages can be forwarded to 7726.

You can report information relating to vaccine fraud anonymously via Crimestoppers’ Covid Fraud Hotline – http://covidfraudhotline.org or 0800 587 5030.


Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Coronavirus

Face coverings retained in health and social care settings

Published

on

By

First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed the legal requirement to wear a face covering in health and care settings will remain in place.

Speaking after the latest three-week review of the coronavirus regulations, the First Minister said the public health situation was improving following the recent spike in cases caused by the BA.2 sub-type of omicron.

Advertisement

But Covid case rates remain high so maintaining the use of face coverings in health and care settings will help to protect to some of the most vulnerable people in society, staff and visitors.

The First Minister also urged everyone to continue to take measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus by following a set of simple steps to protect one another and keep Wales safe.

These include self-isolating if ill or testing positive for Covid-19; wearing a face covering in crowded indoor places, meeting outdoors wherever possible; keeping indoor areas well ventilated and washing hands regularly.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The pandemic isn’t over but we are seeing encouraging signs the recent high levels of infections across Wales are falling.

“There are steps we can all take to protect ourselves while coronavirus is still circulating and reduce the spread of the virus even further. This is particularly true in places where some of the most vulnerable people in society are being treated and live, which is why we will retain the legal requirement to wear face coverings in health and social care settings.

Advertisement

“More generally, ensuring you are up-to-date with your Covid vaccinations and spring booster – if you are eligible – is really important. If you have Covid symptoms or test positive, please stay at home and help break the chain of transmission.

“Together, we can carry on keeping each other safe and keeping Wales safe.”

The next three-weekly review of coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 26 May.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Schools’ Covid guidance aligned to businesses and other workplaces

Published

on

By

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, has announced that Covid-19 measures for schools in Wales will be brought into line with guidance for businesses and other organisations.

The Welsh Government has written to schools in Wales this morning to inform them of the changes.

Advertisement

Since September last year, schools have applied measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus according to local circumstances, based on the Local Covid-19 infection control decision framework for schools. Schools will no longer be advised to use the framework.

The change is in line with the Welsh Government’s long-term Covid-19 transition from pandemic to endemic. The risk from coronavirus is now considered in the same context as other communicable diseases, such as flu.

The First Minister has announced that the remaining coronavirus restrictions will be removed from 9 May, if the public health situation remained stable. The changes to the guidance for schools will also come into effect from 9 May.

Schools and other education settings will continue to be advised to work with local authorities and public health advisors to ensure that measures remain appropriate and proportionate and reflect local risks and circumstances.

A checklist will be provided to support schools and settings in considering which control measures remain proportionate. Special schools will continue to follow the advice for children and young people with higher clinical risk and clinically extremely vulnerable adults.

Advertisement

Speaking at the Welsh Government’s weekly press briefing, Jeremy Miles said: “In line with the wider public health guidance published at the last three-week review, we have today written to headteachers to signpost the impending changes to our advice for schools, which reflect the move from pandemic to endemic. This will ensure school guidance is more closely aligned with the rest of society.

“We all know that Covid-19 has not gone way. It remains vitally important we reduce the spread of the virus where we can – this includes, for example, following self-isolation guidance, and for education settings to continue to undertake robust risk assessments.”

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Health board extends shuttle bus between Llanelli and COVID vaccination centre

Published

on

By

Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) has extended the free shuttle bus service between Llanelli town centre and the mass vaccination centre in Dafen to help people access their COVID-19 vaccination as easily as possible.

The shuttle bus, provided by Dolen Teifi, will continue to run between 10.30am to 4.40pm, seven days a week – with no service at 12.00pm from town or at 12.15pm from the mass vaccination centre to allow the drivers a lunch break.

Advertisement

People can board the shuttle bus on the hour and at half-past the hour at Church Street, outside Llanelli Magistrates Court.

The shuttle bus will leave the mass vaccination centre quarter past and quarter to the hour, returning to the town centre and dropping passengers off opposite Llanelli library.

Bethan Lewis, Interim Assistant Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We need as many people as possible attending their COVID-19 vaccine appointments, or dropping in if eligible.

“This shuttle bus service is one of many additional resources and services being put in place across the Hywel Dda region to help support more people to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. I am pleased the shuttle bus service has been extended to help people reliant on public transport to access their COVID-19 vaccine.”

On 21 February 2022, the JCVI published a statement, recommending an additional spring booster.

Advertisement

Strict COVID-19 safety measures are in place to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers on this service, including wearing face coverings unless medically exempt.

A maximum of 14 passengers are allowed per journey with a screen in place between driver and passengers.

The health board say that passengers should only use this service if they are fit and well on the day.

They add that before travelling without an appointment to Dafen mass vaccination centre, people should check the health board’s website for up-to-date information such as vaccine eligibility and drop-in opening times.

(Lead image: Hywel Dda NHS)

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News