Vaccine Scam Warning
We have received reports that a fake NHS text message is circulating, telling people that they are eligible to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine.
When you click on the link, you are taken to a convincing fake NHS website that asks for personal details including bank account information. Any text message containing a link should be treated with caution. The best way to find information from GOV.UK, or any other agency, is to visit that particular website via a trusted source (such as through Google or Bing) and do not click on links in unsolicited texts or emails.
There have also been reports of criminals making telephone calls and asking for payment over the phone before you can attend your vaccine appointment. The vaccine is free. If you receive such a call, please hang up immediately.
These scams appear very convincing. If you think you have been a victim of fraud:
Please let your bank know immediately.
If you are receiving unwanted phone calls, please let your service provider know. You may wish to consider a landline phone with inbuilt call blocking functions. These are available via some supermarkets and online stores.
Contact Police Scotland on 101 or contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000
For information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit:
https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/immunisation/vaccines/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine or call 0800 030 8013
Protect Scotland App
As a result of information received from communities, our members and key partners the following advice has been circulated
NHS Scotland have launched a new test and protect mobile phone app, "designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns". The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus and can help in determining contacts that you may have.
If you are contacted by NHS (test and protect) it will be by phone on a single national telephone number 0800 030 8012
Be aware that scammers are now exploiting this to commit fraud by contacting the general public advising them that they have been in near contact with someone who has tested positive with Coronavirus and as such you must get a test and self- isolate.
Scammer’s are thereafter asking for payments for booking tests / sending out testing kits by post / courier etc.
NHS Scotland Contact Tracers will:
in some cases, send a text to let you know that you will be receiving a call from NHS Scotland (if mobile is available)
call from a single, national telephone number - 0800 030 8012
always introduce themselves, tell you why they are contacting you and address you by your name
give you the option to call back the above number to provide reassurance that the service is legitimate
Be aware that phone numbers can be spoofed. Consider phoning back using a different phone from the one your received the call. Call will be received on mobile, if concerned phone back on landline
Contact Tracers will never ask you:
for information other than your movements and the people you have been physically close to
to phone a premium rate number
to make a purchase, payment or donation
for your medical history unrelated to coronavirus
for your bank details
for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
for your passwords or PIN numbers, or to set up any
for control of your computer, smartphone or tablet, or to download anything
to visit a website that does not belong to NHS Scotland or the Scottish Government
For further information please go to https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/test-and-protect
Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, Advice Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Please circulate to family, neighbours, friends and colleagues
Rural Safety Advice - Harvest Season
With harvest season well under way and farmers making the most of each dry day in the coming weeks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging everyone working in the fields to “look out, look up” and avoid coming into contact with overhead power lines.
Modern farm machinery can often tower over its smaller 20th century predecessors, and with some modern combine harvesters extending as tall as 4m, there is a real danger that farmers and their colleagues focused on the harvest may forget about overhead electricity lines in the fields where they are working, an oversight that has the potential to cause serious injury, or worse, to those involved.
As part of its harvest safety drive, SSEN has teamed up with Perthshire farmer and comedian, Jim Smith, to produce a series of short videos which they hope will help to highlight not only the risks of striking an electricity line, but also offer up first-hand advice for safer working out in the fields.
“I’m keen to get a safety message over to my fellow farmers and to everyone in the local farming community, and that’s just to be careful out there this harvest time. I know it’s difficult when the weather’s good, the crops are ready and everyone’s going for it, but it only takes a minute or two to observe where the power lines are in every field and where the dangers are.
“The key thing is to always remember to ‘look out, look up’ and take time to check your fields for the location of any electricity lines and poles before you start work.”
Ian Crawley, SSEN’s Network Operational Safety Manager, added: “SSEN wants to help its farming communities to stay accident-free throughout the year and hopes that through the ‘look out, look up’ campaign, we can continue to raise awareness and lower the risks associated with their invaluable work. We’re delighted to work with Jim Smith to spread the message to those working in the field this harvest.”
In addition to this series of harvest-specific videos, the key messages in SSEN’s annual ‘look out, look up’ campaign aim to raise awareness of staying safe while working on the land:
‘Look out, look up!’ before you start work in any areas where electricity lines are present.
Risk assess and be aware of the height of machinery that will be in use near lines and ensure there’s plenty of clearance – remember that electricity can ‘jump’ if an object comes near enough.
If you do come in to contact with an overhead line or cable, stay in your cab or vehicle and try to avoid touching anything metal within it.
Call 105 immediately – this is the UK-wide single emergency number for power companies and is the quickest way to put you through to the correct network operator.
If the situation is too dangerous to stay put, for example, if the machinery is affected by fire, it’s advised that you leap out of the vehicle as high and as far as you can to avoid touching any part of the machinery or electricity network.
If you would like further information on staying safe when working near power lines, please visit ssen.co.uk/safety.
The Health and Safety Executive website also contains more detailed information on the full range power lines farmers are likely to encounter, as well as invaluable advice for working safely near them.
Have you bought anything online recently?…
Almost 34% of all retail sales during May 2020 were carried out online, and new research suggests that only 16% of UK consumers intend to return to their old shopping habits post-lockdown.
Online shopping fraud during lockdown
Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, received over 16,000 reports relating to online shopping and auction fraud during the lockdown, with losses totalling over £16m. Members of the public have reported buying mobile phones (19%), vehicles (22%), electronics (10%) such as games consoles, AirPods and MacBooks , and footwear (4%) on sites such as eBay (18%), Facebook (18%), Gumtree (10%) and Depop (6%), only to have the items never arrive.
Top tips for shopping online securely:
Choosing where to shop:
If you’re making a purchase from a company or seller you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first. For example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was.
Use a strong, separate password for your email account. Criminals can use
your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.
Some of the emails or texts you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. Not all links are bad, but if you’re unsure don't use the link, go separately to the website. And remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as other payment providers may not provide the same protection.
What to do if you’ve fallen victim to online shopping fraud
We all make mistakes and these days the scams can be incredibly convincing.
If you think you’ve visited, or made a purchase on, a bogus website, you should first, take a note of the website's address, then close down your internet browser. You should then report the details to Action Fraud and contact your bank to seek advice.
Whether you've been a victim of fraud will depend on how much information you’ve provided to the website, so keep an eye on your bank transactions, if you can. Contact your bank immediately about anything that you don’t recognise, even small amounts.
For more information about how to stay safe online, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/cybercrime
Exploiting Those Trying To Protect Themselves
|During this period of uncertainty regarding Covid-19, it has become apparent to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland that there are some people who are taking advantage of the situation and are targeting the most vulnerable. Although we appreciate the concern that is being caused by the outbreak, please continue to be cautious when dealing with callers at the door, unwanted phones calls and emails.
If everyone can tell 2 people about the following recent developments in their next phone conversation with a friend or neighbour, the message will soon reach all corners of the community.
This is a worldwide pandemic and no legitimate organisation will contact you out of the blue and ask for payment for information or access to treatment which does not exist. We are hearing reports of emails and phone calls asking for donations to help those in need during this time, or offering miracle cures, and door to door campaigns offering testing. Also, please be aware that the Red Cross are NOT doing door to door testing as has been suggested in some areas.
Unfortunately, some fraudsters are offering to do shopping for residents, taking the money and then not returning with the goods. Others have offered to take a shopping list along with a bank card. This would be considered as theft and should be reported to the police.
We don't want to discourage anyone from helping their neighbours or family members, and we don't want to breed distrust in those genuine members of the community trying to support others. We simply ask that you remain vigilant and:
Try to only liaise with people you know.
Only buy the essentials in this manner, therefore the amount of money required is minimal, do not hand over a bank card - use cash only.
If the person says they are from a community organisation, ask for some ID or to verify their identity by calling the organisation directly, not the number on the card.
Scammers are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails which attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive information about themselves such as personal and financial details. In the same way that we have seen fake TV licensing and HMRC emails, we are now seeing phishing emails claiming to be from organisations affiliated with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). There have also been some variations on current scams with fake emails appearing to be from HMRC offering a tax rebate due to the Coronavirus.
Please be aware of any suspicious emails and do not click on the links or attachments, and do not respond to any unsolicited messages or calls asking for your personal or financial details.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Police Scotland Tel 101 or for advice contact Consumer Advice Scotland Tel 08081646000.
For anyone concerned about COVID-19 please refer to the NHS advice page - https://www.scot.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Following a noticeable increase in Bogus Caller/Doorstep Crime incidents across the country please be alert and consider how you can protect yourself, family friends and neighbours. The old adage ' If in doubt, keep them out' is a simple but effective message. Everyone has a part to play to keep the community safe.
Here are some simple steps that may prevent those around you falling victim to criminals who target the vulnerable in our communities.
Look out for your community and report any suspicious activity immediately to Police Scotland on 101 or your local authority Trading Standards.
- Discuss the advice in this message and links below with family, friends or neighbours who are older or vulnerable.
- Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
- Keep front and back doors locked.
- Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
- Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
- If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
- Don’t feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect you to be careful.
- Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
- Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
- Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
- Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
- Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
- Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
- Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes. Keep an eye out for strange vans in your neighbour's driveway.
- Make sure your relatives are not regularly taking large amounts of cash out of the bank.
- Make arrangements to ensure your relative’s house looks well maintained and, for example, that it is not immediately obvious that an older person lives there alone.
- Doorstep criminals will often target the same victim more than once, so be particularly alert if someone has previously been a victim.