Cause for concern over fake vaccine scams

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Residents of Lochaber and the wider Highlands are being warned to look out for the latest Covid scams emerging across the UK.

Highland Council ‘s Trading Standards team and NHS Highland are asking people to be aware of a variety of fraudulent schemes which are likely to be linked, stressing that the consequences of being a victim of these scams may go beyond financial harm.

The scams take the form of an initial text message or email, pretending to be from the NHS, offering the Covid vaccine.

The initial part of the scams offer the victim the chance to jump the queue and obtain the Covid vaccine quicker than the NHS can provide while the second element may involve a phone call asking for and taking payment ‘for the vaccine’.

The final emerging element is a visit to get the vaccine when, it is understood, something is actually injected into the victim. Notwithstanding the enormous health implications of this, this is another tactic to physically see what else they can take from the victim.

Mark McGinty, Trading Standards Team Leader, said: ‘Exploitation in this way needs to end. The best way to do this, and protect yourself and those around you from becoming a victim, is to be aware and not engage in the scam.’

Anyone wishing advice on scams can visit the Highland Council Trading Standards Scams website.