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Age Scotland warns against vaccine scams

Published on 19 January 2021 02:38 PM

Age Scotland is warning older people to be on the look-out for scams, after recent reports of ‘heartless’ attempts to trick those who are more vulnerable into paying for COVID-19 vaccinations.

One of the most prominent scam attempts has been a text offering a link to a fake yet convincing NHS website which asks visitors to input financial information such as bank details in order to register for a vaccine.

Since the vaccine rollout began, there have also been examples of cold callers offering fake vaccinations in an attempt to persuade people to part with cash or divulge their bank details over the phone and even on the doorstep.

Age Scotland has advised that older people can be disproportionately at risk of scams and is urging everyone to be aware and learn how to protect both themselves and older relatives.

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland's Chief Executive, said:

“It’s wholly unacceptable for anyone to attempt to use the promise of COVID-19 vaccinations to exploit people and get them to divulge sensitive information with the aim of defrauding them.

“Unfortunately, scams of this nature have been rife throughout the pandemic and we know there will always be heartless scammers out there looking to prey on the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“No matter our age or our health, almost any of us can be taken in. But sadly, older people can be more affected, with criminals targeting them because of their perceived vulnerability.

“These attempts seem particularly cruel considering how many older people will be eagerly awaiting information from the NHS about when they can expect to receive their vaccination. We hope to see maximum uptake once contact is made, but it’s vital to make sure an offer of a vaccine is genuine.

“We would urge everyone to be aware of official advice on the vaccination programme and warn any older relatives to be extremely wary of scams. Wait until your GP gets in touch and remember that genuine vaccination invitations will never ask for payment, or involve unsolicited texts or emails that ask for confidential details.”

Contact Age Scotland's media team:

Age Scotland provides a seven day a week response service to media enquiries through a dedicated telephone line and email.

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