Android and iOS smartphone users should beware of a new Covid Pass scam. This pass can be accessed on the NHS app and on a dedicated NHS website, and is used to prove that you have been double vaccinated or to get test results. The pass may need to be presented when attending events or locations in the UK, as well as when traveling overseas.
However, cybercriminals are using this essential tool in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic to extort personal information, money and financial details from affected victims.
Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and cyber reporting center – has reminded people to beware of any messages asking for payment to access the Covid Pass service.
In a tweet this week, the @ActionFraudUK account posted: “Watch out for COVID Pass fraud.
“The NHS app is free. The NHS COVID Pass is free. The NHS will never ask for payment or financial details.”
While in an online post, Action Fraud revealed text messages, emails and phone calls are being sent by crooks claiming to be part of the NHS – who are offering fake vaccine certificates.
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The immediate red flags should be if you are asking for money or financial details in exchange for access to a Covid Pass.
Action Fraud said: “Criminals are using the NHS COVID Pass as a means of targeting the public by convincing them to hand over money, financial details and personal information.
“They are texting, emailing and making phone calls claiming to be from the NHS, and are offering fake vaccine certificates for sale online and through social media.
“If you are contacted about your NHS COVID Pass: Watch out for links and attachments in unexpected text messages or emails.
“Do not respond to requests for money, passwords or financial details. Challenge: Could this be wrong? Use the official NHS COVID Pass website.”
If you would like to view your Covid Pass, you can do so in the official NHS smartphone app.
Remember that the app you need is the NHS app used to manage doctor’s appointments and order repeat prescriptions.
This is the NHS Covid-19 tracking and traceability application.
If you can also access your NHS Covid Pass by going to www.nhs.uk/nhscovidpass.
The news comes as the NHS Covid Pass became mandatory earlier this week for those wishing to frequent a nightclub in Wales.
This also applies to indoor events without seating of more than 500 people, such as a concert, to outdoor events without seating of more than 4,000 people and for any event of more than 10,000 people.
Speaking on the matter, Welsh Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: ‘The Covid Pass is just one of a series of measures in place to help prevent people from spreading and catching the coronavirus while helping to keep the economy open.
“None of us want to see more closures and that businesses have to close their doors again.
“Showing off a Covid Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open, with some major events, such as the success of the Green Man Festival, using it.
“Together, if we all continue to follow the clear guidelines we are all used to now, we will do all we can to keep Wales safe.”
Scotland will also use Covid passes for the same aforementioned settings, but this will not take effect until October 18.
In England, plans for vaccine passports, which were due to start at the end of September, have been abandoned.
However, the government has said it could be introduced this winter if cases increase.
Northern Ireland also does not have a formal passport regime for the Covid-19 vaccine.