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Gardaí warn about Covid-19 vaccine call and text scams

People are falsely told they are being offered a vaccine, and then asked to provide personal information.

Image: Shutterstock/Studio Romantic

GARDAÍ HAVE WARNED people to be aware of potential text and phone call scams relating to Covid-19 vaccination. 

Gardaí said a number of people recently received scam calls or texts to say they have been offered a vaccine.

Callers gave a fake vaccination date and looked for personal details like the person’s name, PPS number, date of birth and address.

Some fake text messages also asked people to confirm these private details. Gardaí said the HSE would never text to seek this kind of information. 

It was reported in January that a Covid-19 vaccine scam had been targeting older people, with multiple reports of people contacted by individuals purporting to be from the HSE. 

Here’s some advice from gardaí, the HSE and the Department of Health about these fraudulent texts and calls. 

  • Your local GP is the first point of contact about vaccination.
  • The Covid-19 vaccine is free and is not available privately in Ireland. The HSE would not text or call people to request payment for a Covid-19 vaccine or test. 
  • Don’t disclose private information over the phone or by text. Hang up if you receive any calls of this nature.
  • Don’t give out your PPS number to anyone who makes unsolicited contact through phone or email. 
  • The HSE would never text to ask for your PPS number or address.
  • Don’t disclose who you live with or whether you live alone.

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Gardaí asked people to reach out to vulnerable friends and family to make them aware of the scam calls and texts.

Anyone who mistakenly provides personal details in relation to this scam is asked to report it to their local garda station.

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