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Vac attack Fraudsters are using Covid-19 vaccine call and text scam to obtain personal details

Text messages have also made requests for people to confirm private information such as PPS number, date of birth and address. The HSE will never text seeking such information.”

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Stock photo(Yui Mok/PA)

Stock photo(Yui Mok/PA)

Stock photo(Yui Mok/PA)

Members of the public have received fraudulent text messages and calls regarding Covid-19 vaccinations, Gardai have revealed, as they issued a new scam warning.

Gardai and the health authorities have issued the alert after scammers attempted to trick people into revealing sensitive personal details by taking advantage of the vaccination programme.

“A number of people have recently received phone calls or text messages in which they are offered vaccinations,” Gardai said.

“However, the callers are then providing fraudulent vaccination dates and looking to extract sensitive personal details. The details requested include, the person’s name, PPS number, date of birth and address.

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Stock picture

Stock picture

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“Text messages have also made requests for people to confirm private information such as PPS number, date of birth and address. The HSE will never text seeking such information.”

Gardai have issued the following tips and advice:

  • The HSE will never text or call individuals to request payment for a Covid test or vaccine
  • Your local GP will be the first point of contact about vaccination
  • The Covid-19 vaccine is free and it is not available privately
  • 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 text you and ask for your PPS number
  • The HSE will never text you to request your home address
  • Never give away personal data or disclose who you may live with or if you live alone
  • If you receive such a call, just hang up.

Gardai added that anyone who has mistakenly provided personal information in response to this scam should report it to their local garda station.

“We would ask that members of the public make contact with any vulnerable friends or family to make them aware of these calls and text messages,” they added.

“If you have questions or concerns relating to Covid testing or vaccination, please contact the HSE.”

The warning comes after Gardai revealed new figures during their ongoing Fraud Week initiative that showed how there was an 80 per cent increase in “phishing”, “smishing” and “vishing” frauds recorded in the first week of February 2021.

The fraud involves a text (smishing), an email (vishing) or a phone call (phishing) from a supposedly reputable company or state agency asking recipients to click on a link.

This brings users to a cloned website, that will subsequently request a PIN number or other personal data such as address, date of birth or PPS numbers.

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