Phishers running NHS Covid-19 text scam asking people to give away their card details

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 01, 2021

As the vaccination drive is in its full swing in the United Kingdom, hackers and phishers are trying to use this as an opportunity to trick people into giving away their credit or debit card details, Express reported.

Cybercriminals have started sending texts with a link to a form purporting to be from the National Health Service. The text message says that the recipient is now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine but needs to submit a form that asks them to fill in their personal details, including credit card details.

According to the Express report, the scam is particularly insidious as it is targeting the elderly and vulnerable groups who are being covered during the first phase of the vaccine.

It added that the NHS does not ask for such details as the whole vaccination program is running free for people. Also, people should delete such texts immediately and contact the bank to change the credit card number, if need be.

Peter Hazlewood, group financial crime risk director at Aviva, told Metro: “Fraudsters are exploiting the pandemic to take advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable. They are using coronavirus as a pretext to lure potential victims.”

“The scams range from attempts to sell people unsuitable insurance to, at worst, stealing their entire retirement savings. The impact on victims is not just financial either, it has a detrimental effect on people’s mental well-being too,” he added.

London and UK Crime official Twitter handle took to the microblogging site to post a screenshot of a fake message and wrote: “Fake - asks for bank account details, credit card number and a whole load of personal info. The website looks very real but clearly a scam.”

According to the recent data by the Local Government Association (LGA), some councils in the UK have witnessed a 40 per cent increase in reported scams since the start of the public health crisis.

Published on January 01, 2021

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