Vaccine invite texts scam prompts police warning over three covid scams you should watch out for

The details of three Covid-19 scams believed to be circulating in the area have been posted online in a bid to stop vulnerable people falling victim to fraudsters.

Posting a screenshot of the first ‘dangerous’ scam message, Durham Constabulary has warned residents to be cautious of the text which claims they are eligible to apply for a vaccine.

Instead the link takes victims through to a fake NHS website that asks for payment and other personal details. Anyone who is unsure should check any invitation to be vaccinated with your GP.

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This is just one of a number of scams circulating as a result of the pandemic as fraudsters try to take advantage of others whilst they are vulnerable.

Durham Constabulary posted a screenshot of the text message which has been circulating.

Durham County Council says current scams circulating in the area include:

*A social media survey scam is offering £25 to say how you have coped during Covid-19. Often claiming to be council approved, the survey asks for personal information including your bank details, date of birth and national insurance number. These details are then used to commit fraud.

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*Another scam circulating is a text message where the victim is told they are eligible to claim a Covid-19 grant for self-isolating. Durham County Council will never text residents with a link inviting them to make a claim.

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The council has also warned residents of fraudsters offering or trying to sell:

Loans and finance – if you don't recognise the company you can check if they are authorised to lend money on the Loan Smart website

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Virus testing kits - these are only offered by the NHS

Vaccines or miracle cures

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Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself such as face coverings and anti-bacterial products

Shopping or medication collection services

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Home cleaning services

Anyone offering to help you spread or take a council tax payment holiday, especially if they ask for bank details.

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Protect yourself and others:

Don't be rushed into making a decision

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Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.

Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take time to think.

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It's okay to reject, refuse or ignore requests. Only criminals will try and rush or panic you

If someone claims to represent the council or a charity, ask them for ID.

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Be suspicious of requests for money up front.

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