Fraudulent messages relating to the COVID-19 vaccine

There are several ways that you might be contacted by the NHS to receive your Covid-19 vaccination.

Your GP Practice

GP practices are contacting patients either via text message, letter or telephone call (not via email) to book their vaccination appointment. The text message will include a link that takes you to a website to book your appointment. It will not ask you for any details other than your name and date of birth.

The National Booking Centre

You may also receive a letter in the post from the national NHS vaccination programme. The letter includes a link to book a vaccination at either Ashton Gate Vaccination Centre or a local pharmacy. You will need your name, date of birth and your NHS number (which will be on the letter) to book your appointment. If you have already booked or had your first vaccine dose via your GP practice please ignore this letter. If you haven’t been contacted by your GP practice but would prefer to have your vaccination locally at your closest GP vaccination centre then you do not need to do anything, Your local GP practice will get in touch with you directly.

Can I contact anyone directly if I haven’t had an invitation yet?

If you are 18 and over and you haven’t had your invitation yet you can book online using your NHS number.

Fraudulent text messages and emails

We are aware there are a number of fraudulent text messages and emails in circulation linked to the COVID-19 vaccination. These text messages and emails claim to be from the NHS and ask people to provide payment details to verify their eligibility for the vaccine. 

The vaccine is only available from the NHS and is free of charge. We will never ask you for bank details or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call that claims to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam:

  • The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details.
  • The NHS will never ask you for your PIN or banking password.
  • The NHS will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • The NHS will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.

How to spot a fraudulent message:

  • Look out for spelling and grammatical errors
  • Even if a message or website looks like it is from the NHS, it doesn’t mean it is authentic
  • Anything that asks for you to provide bank or payment details in a text is likely to be bogus
  • Trust your instinct – if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t
  • If in doubt, check it out

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Example of a scam message

Example scam text message claiming to be from the NHS reads: “We have identified that your are eligible to apply for your vaccine. For more information and to apply follow here: link”

The message includes a link for you to follow, which takes you through to a fake NHS website that asks for your personal and payment details.

Example of a real text message about your COVID-19 vaccine

A genuine text message from a doctors surgery may include something along the lines of: “Dear Mr O’Sullivan, You have been invited to book your COVID-19 vaccinations. Please click the link to book your vaccination times: link. GPS healthcare”