VILE Covid fraudsters are injecting pensioners with a fake vaccine in a horrific £160-a-jab doorstep scam.
Vulnerable Brits are being targeted in their own homes by conmen who give them a shot and take their cash, experts say.
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One frail OAP was allegedly jabbed in the arm with a "dart-like" injection and charged £160 – before the same man returned to her home days later to ask for another £100.
And this morning, Gareth Shaw of consumer group Which? urged people to be especially cautious as doorstep cons have made a huge resurgence during the pandemic.
"It's really, really serious stuff. They're targeting the most vulnerable and really taking advantage of their uncertainty," he told Sky.
"Fraudsters go around posing as the NHS and actually administering a 'vaccine'.
"It's typically a saline solution.
"It's an absolutely horrific crime."
And he said other victims are being targeted in different ways, including by fraudsters offering to do their shopping.
"Covid support groups that didn't exist were being concocted by people who knocked on doors and then asked residents to part with money in exchange for shopping that never arrived," he said.
"Doorstep crime is really coming back into vogue during pandemic.
"You do really need to be on your guard."
The group says 16 per cent of people polled have received unsolicited visits from someone claiming to be a salesperson or charity worker since the start of the first lockdown.
It's not known how many of those visits were legitimate.
Adam French, Which? consumer rights expert, said: "It's highly concerning that doorstep scammers are back in business and looking to exploit the pandemic in every way they can.
"We all need to be wary of anyone who knocks on our door unexpectedly.
"Adopting a blanket policy not to buy goods or services offered at the door is a sure-fire way to stop any would-be fraudsters in their tracks.
"However, if you do decide to purchase something at your door, you should ask the seller for their ID or call the company to verify their identity before making any payments."
Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, also warned of a spike in scam text messages and emails.
She called the scammers "despicable".
“Not only are the people being targeted at risk of losing money or having their identity stolen, they are also at risk of not receiving the real vaccine," she said.
“Remember, the NHS will never ask for your bank account or card details. Anyone asking for payment for the vaccine is committing fraud.
"If you have received a text message, email or phone call where someone has tried to charge you for the vaccine please report this to Action Fraud, even if you haven’t given them any money.
"Your report can help us protect others.”
Brits eligible for a vaccine will be written to, emailed, texted or called by the NHS for an appointment.
How to protect yourself from fraud
- NEVER pay for a vaccine – it’s free and only on the NHS, you cannot buy one privately.
- NEVER hand over your PIN, bank and card details, or passwords.
- NEVER send copies of your personal documents.
- CALL police if someone offers you a jab on the doorstep. The NHS is offering jabs only from dedicated centres.
- LOOK for poor English, spelling, grammar and punctuation in texts, emails and websites. Genuine NHS communications and websites will not contain these.
- CHECK the URL (full website address) when you click on a link: If it isn’t an “nhs.uk” website it’s probably a scam.
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