'It's unbelievable' - woman's warning following COVID vaccine text scam
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A woman targeted by a text scam pretending to offer the Coronavirus vaccine for a price has warned others to beware of the message.
Pauline Barclay, of Walsingham, was delighted when she was told it was her turn to receive the jab due to her medical history, however when the website she was directed to asked her for £5 she quickly realised she was being scammed.
Ms Barclay, 67, who is in a priority group for the vaccine due to a lung operation she had in 2018, said the text looked completely legitimate when she received it on Thursday, February 4, with the booking site she was directed to baring the NHS logo.
She said: "I'm normally quite on the ball, it had NHS on it and everything and it had on there that it was due to my medical history which twigged a bit because of my lung operation.
"You go on the website and it brings up the date and the times and then it said 'city' and that's when I thought it was unusual, because they normally ask for your town.
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"So I got through to the end of it and then it asked me for £5 to guarantee my slot and that's when I stopped.
"It's just unbelievable trying to get money out of people, it was so official looking."
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Ms Barclay says another detail which raised her suspicions was the fact the currency asked for was represented by 'GBP' rather than the expected pound symbol.
A Norfolk Police spokesperson said: "We are aware that nationally there has been a rise in coronavirus vaccine scams, we would expect to see this replicated in Norfolk.
"Anyone who feels they are a victim of a coronavirus scam can report it Norfolk Police on 101."
The NHS will never ask for bank account or card details and never ask for proof of identity by sending copies of personal documents such as passports, driving licences, bills or pay slips.
NHS staff will also never arrive unannounced at people's homes to administer the vaccine.
Those who suspect they have been the victim of an attempted scam should call 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.