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People in Sefton warned to beware of NHS COVID pass criminals

Poster warning people about COVID Pass fraudSefton Council is reminding resident to beware of criminals using the NHS COVID Pass to get people to hand over money or their financial details and secret passwords.

Available in electronic form or on paper or via the NHS App, an NHS COVID Pass shows a person’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details or test results. This is their COVID-19 status. They may be needed to travel abroad, or at events and venues in England that ask for proof of COVID-19 status.

Free

An NHS COVID Pass is free and details of how to get one can be found on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/nhscovidpass or by calling 119.

However, criminals are targeting people and sending fake text messages, emails and making phone calls pretending to be from the NHS, offering fake vaccine certificates for sale online and through social media.

They are using these methods to get people to hand over money, or to reveal financial details and personal information, which they then use to empty their bank accounts.

Alert

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “It’s important that we all remember the NHS App is free, the NHS COVID Pass is free, and that the NHS will NEVER ask for payment or any financial details.

“If you are contacted by phone, text or email by someone claiming they can offer you a pass or the App, and asking for money, you should not respond or share important personal information such as bank details or passwords.

“And you should be alert to links and attachments in unexpected text messages or emails, which may corrupt your device and steal your information.”

Suspect

Mrs Jones went on to encourage anyone who has any information relating to NHS COVID Pass or vaccine certificate fraud to report it.

She said: “If you receive a call and suspect it to be fraudulent, hang up straight away. If you are suspicious about an email, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk and make sure you do not open any links or attachments.

She continued:  “If you are suspicious about a text message, you can forward it free to 7726, and if you think you’re the victim of a fraud, report it to Action Fraud as soon as possible by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.

“Any information relating to NHS COVID Pass or vaccine certificate fraud you can be reported 100% anonymously to Crimestoppers online at covidfraudhotline.org or by phoning 0800 587 5030.”