Beware of Covid-19 Vaccine Passport Scams in the UK
Criminals are using fake emails and texts inviting people to apply for the NHS vaccine digital passport. The COVID-19 Vaccine Passport scam email is doing rounds purporting to originate from the NHS. The email informs recipients that they can apply for their Digital COVID-19 Passports.
A vaccine passport is vital in the UK, especially if you travel a lot. This is because it proves that you received the COVID-19 vaccine. Before we reveal more details about the COVID-19 Vaccine Passport Scams UK, we will explain what the NHS COVID-19 Passport is, how it works, and more.
What is NHS COVID-19 Passport?
The NHS COVID-19 Passport is a pass that shows your COVID-19 vaccination details and status. This passport is a must if you travel abroad or attend certain events and venues in the UK.
The digital COVID-19 pass from the NHS is available to people in the UK who’ve had a full course of the coronavirus vaccine. A complete course includes two doses of any approved vaccine. In addition, people can prove the COVID-19 vaccination status through the NHS COVID Vaccine passport via:
- NHS app
- Paper letter
- NHS website
If you cannot access the services above and are due to travel abroad, NHS recommends calling 119. This will enable you to request a letter. The letter will provide evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status. It takes up to 5 working days for the letter to reach you. Besides calling, you can request for the COVID Pass letter via the NHS site.
Who Can Get an NHS COVID-19 Pass?
To get the NHS COVID pass, you need to be 16 and over. The pass is not available to children aged 15 or younger. If you’re travelling with your child (under 15), he may need to show a negative test result for coronavirus. To get into UK venues and events, children do not need a digital pass.
For those aged 16 and over, you need the following to obtain the NHS coronavirus digital passport.
- Two COVID-19 vaccine doses
- Negative PCR Test (within 48 hours)
- Rapid lateral test (within 48 hours)
- A positive PCR test (within the past 6 months)
You’ll receive your pass 2 weeks after your second dose. If you did a rapid lateral flow test at home, report your results on GOV.UK. If you’re vaccinated as part of a trial, the NHS will send a letter to confirm your fully vaccinated status.
How Do I Get an NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Passport?
There are three ways for getting your NHS digital vaccine passport. First, get the digital version by downloading the NHS app. The app is available for Android and iOS devices. You must be 13 and over and registered with a GP surgery in the UK to use the app.
You can also use the NHS COVID Pass service online. To use both services, you need your NHS login details. If you don’t have an NHS login already, you need to create one. Simply enter your email to set it up.
The NHS can send the COVID Pass letter to you by post. The letter shows your vaccination status against coronavirus, but it does not show your test results. You don’t need to register with a GP surgery to get the letter. You can request the letter online or by calling 119.
The paper NHS COVID-19 Pass does not have an expiry date.
Fake NHS COVID Digital Passport Scam
In May 2021, Action Fraud warned the public about the fake NHS coronavirus passport scam. Several media outlets also highlighted the emergence of people posing as the NHS. These scammers are asking people to apply for NHS COVID digital passports.
The scam emails carry the NHS logo and ask people to get a fake digital passport. In fact, the email has a button that says, “Get Digital Passport. If a user clicks the button, they are taken to a fake NHS website. This website asks for personal and payment details. The fake NHS website is very convincing, and it asks victims to enter their card details. The payment acts as an administration fee.
Here is an example of an NHS COVID Digital Passport Scam.
The real COVID Digital passport is free. You can get yours by downloading the NHS app or visiting the genuine NHS site. The scammers have already taken down the site, but there are reports that other scammers are selling fake vaccine cards for as little as £5 on eBay. This sparked fears that people will buy the fake vaccine cards and use them to flout travel rules.
How to Protect Yourself From Vaccine Passport Scams
If you receive suspicious texts and emails, never click on links. This includes your social media posts. Instead, report the email by forwarding it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send any suspicious texts to the number 7726. It’s free of charge.
The NHS will never ask you for your financial information or your PIN. They will never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the coronavirus vaccine. Also, they will never ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of your personal documents, such as your driving license or passport.
Do not share your personal and financial information with strangers. If in doubt, contact or visit the NHS website. The NHS app and site have advanced security features to protect your data and you from fraud and scammers.