COVID and Vaccine Scams | PDSC Advice Guides

Criminals take advantage of any situation to try and commit fraud, and the COVID-19 Pandemic and Vaccination rollouts are no exception.

COVID-19 Scams:

Vaccine Scams

A stranger offering to do shopping

Criminals target elderly and vulnerable people and offer to do shopping on their behalf. However, they’ll simply take the money and never return. Always exercise caution when accepting help from an individual or allowing them access to your home in any capacity

Vaccine Scams

Fake lockdown fines

You receive a fake text messages stating that you have been fined for stepping outside during lockdown restrictions. Even though the text claims to be from the government, they are not true. Always take a moment to think before you part with your money or information.

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Selling fake or non-existent products

Some criminals are trying to sell masks/hand sanitiser or testing kits. Only purchase these from suppliers you trust. And never buy coronavirus prevention pills. These pills do not exist.

Vaccine Scams

HMRC goodwill payment

You receive a fake text message stating you’ve received a goodwill payment from the HMRC. These messages are designed to steal your account details. Do not click on the link provided.

Vaccine Scams

Vaccine ScamsIn the UK, coronavirus vaccines are currently only available via the NHS.

You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer or your local pharmacy or GP. If it’s anyone else, it’s a scam.

Vaccinations are free of charge, meaning the NHS will never:

  • Ask you for your bank account or card details
  • Ask for PINS or passwords
  • Arrive at your home unannounced to administer a vaccine
  • Ask you to provide proof of ID, like passports or utility bills.
  • Ask you to provide personal information, like your mother’s maiden name.

If you want to know more, go to

  Fraud Prevention

  • Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
  • Do not let anyone into your home without confirming their identity. Make them wait and call their head office if you need to. Genuine callers will not mind you doing this.
  • Be wary of any emails or texts that you weren’t expecting. These scam messages can be very hard to spot. They are designed to get you to react without thinking.

If you’re not sure, then double check. For more information, go to suspicious-email-actions


If you receive a suspicious email, forward it on to , and forward any suspicious texts to 7726. Report any other fraud or cyber crime at, or on 0300 123 2040 (or 0300 123 2050 for deaf/hard of hearing)