Warnings issued over Covid scams

NHS Western Isles is highlighting to local communities the importance of being vigilant for COVID-19 testing and vaccination scams.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 12:30 pm
Residents on the Western Isles are urged to be aware of possible scams.

Scammers across the world are trying to take advantage of people’s worries and uncertainty about the pandemic, especially those who are alone, self-isolating or in financial difficulty.

A spokeswoman for the health board said: “Most importantly, we must stress that no NHS organisation will ever ask you for payment or financial details for a COVID test or vaccination.

“Our Test and Protect team will contact you directly if you have been identified as a close contact of anyone resident to the Western Isles who has tested positive for COVID-19.

“It is also possible that you could be contacted by another NHS authority (possibly by SMS text) if you have been identified as a close contact of someone from another local authority area.

“If you have any concerns regarding the legitimacy of the individual contacting you, you should contact the NHS Western Isles Test and Protect team directly for advice by telephoning the dedicated hotline on: 01851 601151.”

Other Coronavirus-related scams to be aware of include:

People claiming to be able to arrange a COVID vaccine for a fee. The NHS is the only organisation which has access to the vaccine, and will never ask for money.

Sales of fake products such as face masks, supplements, anti-virus kits and sanitisers, which may be harmful or simply never arrive.

Bogus healthcare workers who try to gain access to your home by claiming to offer testing for COVID-19.

Emails asking for donations to the NHS.

Always check the credentials of people or companies who contact you, either by telephone or directly.

Take your time before agreeing to anything or sharing any personal or financial information, and if you are in any doubt whatsoever, seek advice first.