COVID-19 Scams and Misinformation
Latest scam warning
There are reports of people receiving phone calls about vaccines, and asking people to pay, as well as a fake text claiming to be from the NHS telling the person receiving it they're eligible to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine before linking them to a fake 'NHS' website that asks for personal information.
Email scams and cybercrime
Unfortunately, criminals are using the coronavirus pandemic to con some people out of their money. Scams include sending emails or texts and creating fraudulent websites to offer things such as fake medical services or equipment that doesn't arrive (external link). Some of them are incredibly convincing and it's easy to be fooled into parting with your cash.
Use the links below to find useful information to help protect you and the people you care about from COVID-related cybercrime.
- Government advice for individuals and businesses on coronavirus fraud and cybercrime (external link)
- National Trading Standards' advice on avoiding COVID-19 scams (external link)
- The National Cyber Security Centre's guide to dealing with suspicious emails, phone calls and text messages (external link)
- If you receive a text or email from an organisation claiming to be a charity, check its name and registration before donating (external link)
- Age UK: how to avoid scams (external link)
- If you are a victim of fraud you can obtain advice to on what to do next from the Citizen Advice Consumer Service (external link)
- Report suspicious emails at email@example.com
If you or anyone you know has been affected by fraud or an online scam, report it to Action Fraud. Call 0300 1232040 or click the button below.
Misinformation and fake news
With so much new information about the coronavirus appearing every day, it can be difficult to know what to believe. Whether it is speculation, a genuine misunderstanding or fake news spread to deliberately misinform, it is always good to check the facts behind the stories we hear about the pandemic.
The following video discusses the science behind vaccines, as explained by Professor Jonathon Van-Tam:
Note for iPhone users and Youtube. There is a known bug with iOS and Youtube, Two buttons are read before the player but provide no functionality. We advise that you skip these to access the content.
Where to get accurate information
The following websites contain useful, verified information about COVID-19:
- Coronavirus mythbusters - World Health Organisation (WHO) website (external link)
- UK Government advice and information about COVID-19 (external link)
- Translated Government COVID-19 information (external link)
- NHS information about the coronavirus vaccine (external link)
- General COVID-19 information from the NHS (external link)
- How to report misinformation about the coronavirus online - WHO website (external link)
Is that true?
Thinking of sharing a story on social media, or with friends and family?
Read this useful checklist (external link) to decide if it’s reliable.
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