Gardaí issue fresh warning about Covid-19 vaccine fraud

Gardaí issue fresh warning about Covid-19 vaccine fraud

An Garda Síochána, the HSE and The Department of Health are reminding people to be aware of potential scams relating to the Covid-19 vaccine. Pictured is the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in a syringe before being administered.

An Garda Síochána, the HSE and The Department of Health are reminding people to be aware of potential scams relating to the Covid-19 vaccine.

An Garda Síochána is aware that members of the public have received fraudulent text messages and calls regarding Covid vaccinations.

As part of Fraud Awareness Week, which has highlighted various frauds including online shopping fraud, money mules, and fraud in relation to the vaccine, gardaí are warning people to be vigilant.

Detective Superintendent with the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) Catharina Gunne said in a video shared on social media: “Fraudsters are opportunistic and they are using the Covid pandemic, in particular the vaccine rollout, to defraud people.

“Members of the public are receiving unsolicited calls and texts offering them vaccine dates.

“In order to confirm your vaccination date you are being asked to give personal data.” 

An Garda Síochána, along with the HSE and the Department of Health is advising people to never disclose private information over the phone or via text message and to hang up if they receive such a call.

The HSE will never text or call individuals requesting their personal details, including their PPS number, or requesting them to make a payment for a Covid test or vaccine.

"Your local GP will be the first point of contact about the vaccination. The Covid-9 vaccine is free and is not available privately,” Detective Superintendent Gunne said.

Members of the public are also being asked to make contact with any vulnerable friends or neighbours and make them aware of such calls and texts.

“If you believe you have been a victim of this type of fraud please contact your local garda station, and if you have any queries in relation to the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination, contact the HSE or look up their website at hse.ie,” she said.

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