WILTSHIRE residents are being urged to be on the look out for scam text messages about Covid-19 vaccinations.

This comes after the NHS started a trial where text messages are sent out inviting people to book their Covid-19 injections.

Wiltshire Police Detective Sergeant, Sean Tregunna, said: “Coinciding with the roll-out of vaccination invites via text message, we’re pre-empting a rise in text message scams, whereby fraudsters try to collect personal details from people, encourage them to ring premium rate numbers or enter their bank details. The NHS will never ask you for your bank account or card details, your PIN or banking password.

“Of course some people might be worried about scams which have been widely publicised, but if the message comes from ‘NHSvaccine’ and links to the NHS.uk website you can be sure that it’s a legitimate invite.

“It’s also worth remembering that the NHS will also never arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine or ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or pay slips.”

The genuine messages include a web link to click on and reserve an appointment at vaccination centres or pharmacies.

The vaccination is free of charge and people will not be asked for your bank details or personal information.

Texts messages will arrive in advance of the standard letter and reminders will be sent two to three weeks after the original alert to encourage people to get their vaccine if they have not taken up the offer.

Some GP-led and hospital vaccination services, which operate their own booking systems, are already using texts for invites.

People will continue to receive letters inviting them to book an appointment as well as a text alert, ensuring people who don’t have a number registered or need information in different languages or formats don’t miss out.

Those who have already been vaccinated should not receive a text message or a letter from the NHS.

The text message will be sent using the Government’s secure Notify service and will show as being sent from ‘NHSvaccine’. You will not be asked for payment or banking details.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or call on 0300 123 2040.