NHS Scotland is warning people of scammers who are trying to exploit money and personal details out of people who are eager to get the vaccine.
Their Counter Fraud Services say that scammers are trying to get people to register to fake sign ups to for the vaccine, when in fact no registration is needed.
Gordon Young, Head of Counter Fraud Services said “During the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS Scotland has been under increasing pressure and this includes the NHS and its staff being the target of new frauds.
“These frauds are also aimed at members of the public. It is totally unacceptable that at a time of a national health crisis, unscrupulous individuals would attempt to take advantage of the health service and the public.”
In some cases, scammers are trying to get people to pay for fake registrations when the NHS is not charging anyone for their vaccine or appointment.
They say that it’s important for people to know that the NHS will never: ask for, or accept, cash for vaccines, ask for your banking details or identity documents, email you to arrange your COVID-19 vaccination or turn up at your residence unannounced.
If anyone is contacted about phoney vaccine appointments, they should report it to the government and Crime stoppers.
People who are looking forward to getting their vaccine can expect their GP to be in contact as the vaccine roles out throughout Highland Perthshire.
Dr Daniel Chandler, Associate Director of Public Health at NHS Tayside, said: “Our vaccination teams have put in a huge amount of work and planning to get to this stage, and are also working hard to plan for the next stages of the programme. This will see all those aged over 65 and those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable invited for vaccination in stages throughout February.
“It is really encouraging to see such high uptake so far and we know that many more people are eager to get vaccinated. Please be assured that everyone will be offered the vaccination but, understandably, we need to ensure those who are most vulnerable are vaccinated as soon as possible, so this means that our immediate focus is on frontline staff and older and at-risk members of our communities.
“We would like to thank everyone for their patience as we work our way through the priority groups and ask that people do not contact their GP practice with enquiries about when they will receive the vaccine as practices are currently very busy making arrangements and booking appointments.
“Remember it takes 2-3 weeks for the vaccine to provide protection and it is not known whether it stops you spreading the virus to others so we all need to continue to stick to the rules and help stop the spread in our communities.”
NHS Tayside have said they are making good progress and that the availability of vaccinations in the area is reliant on the supply available to them.
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “The supply of vaccinations to GPs is contingent on the pace at which we receive vaccinations from the national supply. However, we are assured that we will receive sufficient vaccinations to enable all over 80s in Tayside to be vaccinated by the end of the month. As soon as the vaccine supply is confirmed to a GP practice, they will contact each patient who is over 80 to make arrangements for them to receive the vaccine.”
Anyone looking to report a scam which is exploiting vulnerable people can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And they can contact the Crimestoppers dedicated COVID fraud team at: https://forms.theiline.co.uk/crimestopperscovidfraudhotline