NHS vaccine scam targets individuals in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Targeted: Karen Gray  with her son MurrayTargeted: Karen Gray  with her son Murray
Targeted: Karen Gray with her son Murray
Scammers are targeting families across Edinburgh and the Lothians with fake emails asking people to book their Covid-19 vaccine.

The emails come from dubious addresses but show an unnerving similarity in structure and layout to genuine NHS messaging.

Karen Gray, 46, from East Craigs had received an email on February 2 titled “important Book an appointment using the NHS e-Referral Service NHSVaccination - Your NHS.co.uk order of "NHS health service Team HK."”

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She identified the sender as looking peculiar - [email protected] - and Googled the address to find that it is part of a scam to trick individuals into giving over personal details that could be used to access private information.

Karen said: “I realised it was a scam after checking out the sender address. It’s really worrying that there are people out there desperate for the vaccine that could easily have clicked on the links within the emails.”

Karen reported the incident to Police Scotland through 101.

Yvonne Saunders, 41, a civil engineering technician from Whitburn, also identified a similar scam that she had received by email.

She said: “I knew straight away when I saw the address that it came from. Personally I think it is sad that people go to these lengths to steal people's hard earned cash.

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“There has to be more awareness for the elderly and other vulnerable individuals who could fall victim to scams of this nature. We see plenty of messaging to wash our hands but not enough energy is focused on scamming.”

Chief Inspector Anton Stephenson, 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.

“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 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.”

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