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Warning issued over scam text using NHS Covid-19 pass scheme

written by Bella Palmer

The message links to a website similar to a real NHS platform that asks the recipient to provide personal details, but which could be used for identity fraud

A scam text message is using the NHS (National Health Service) Covid-19 pass scheme to steal people’s personal information.

Trading Standards officers across Britain are warning people to be on the lookout for the latest Covid-19 themed scam after receiving a number of reports.

The message, which claims to be an official communication from the NHS, reads: You are eligible to apply for a Covid Pass proving you have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The message then links to a website made to look like a real NHS platform that asks the recipient to provide personal details, supposedly for registration purposes, but which could be used to undertake identity fraud.

This text scam is similar to an email-based scam witnessed in July, which implored members of the public to get their health passports before they went on holiday. That scam also directed recipients to a phony website that took personal details which could be used to commit fraud.

Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Chief Executive John Herriman said: Since the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, CTSI has witnessed countless scams themed around the pandemic.

I have received many fake COVID-19 messages myself, and I don't think a single person hasn't received one. It appals me just how relentless the fraudsters are and how unscrupulous they are to target the public at a time of unprecedented vulnerability, he said.

He added members of the public should apply for an NHS COVID Pass or vaccination certificates on the official platforms, which are different, depending on if they are resident in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.


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