The HSE and An Garda Síochána are advising members of the public to be aware of potential online and phone scams relating to the Covid-19 vaccine. An Garda Síochána says its “aware of members of the public having received fraudulent text messages and calls regarding Covid vaccination”.
Some people that have fallen victim to this scam say that they received a text message asking them to confirm private and sensitive information such as PPS number, date of birth and address while others have gotten phone calls requesting they make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine jab at a random hospital. When you say you can’t get there, they ask for your home address to either get you a lift or give the vaccine at home. They ask for payment over the phone or via an online link. This sort of information allows the scammer to get further personal information from the victim such as their home address or find out if they live alone.
The HSE will never text or call individuals requesting personal information and they will never request payment for a Covid test or Vaccine. Your local GP will be the first point of contact about vaccination or Covid testing. The Covid-19 vaccine is free and it is not available privately.
Gardaí are asking that members of the public inform any vulnerable friends or family and make them aware of these calls and text messages.
If you have (or know someone who has) fallen victim to this sinister scam, call your local Garda station.
Ballyfermot Garda Station – 016667200
Ronanstown Garda Station – 016667700
You may ask yourself, how can you avoid these scammers. In the press release provided by An Garda Síochána (see sources), they say to never disclose private information over phone or via text message.
Do not give out your PPS Number to anyone who makes unsolicited contact with you whether by phone or email. The HSE will never call or text you and ask for your PPS number
The HSE will never call you to request your home address
Never give away personal data or disclose who you may live with or if you live alone
The HSE will never request payment for a Covid test or vaccine
If you receive such a call, just hang up
Anyone who mistakenly provides personal information in response to this scam should contact report the matter to their local Garda Station
If you have questions or concerns relating to Covid testing or vaccination, contact your local GP