Covid-19 scammers access Gosport couple's bank account after fake vaccine text

A COUPLE have warned others to beware Covid scammers who tricked their way into their bank account after sending a fake Covid-19 vaccine text alert.

Saturday, 2nd January 2021, 7:00 am

Hard-working pair Debbie Walsh and Gary Elverstone, both 56, have been left feeling ‘humiliated’ after following the scam message’s instructions.

Upset Gary, a Just Eat delivery driver, got the text saying he was eligible for a vaccination but needed to confirm this, with the message giving a link to follow.

He searched for this link on Google using his laptop, followed the link given and typed in his bank account and address details.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Debbie Walsh and her partner Gary Elverstone were scammed by Covid vaccine fraudsters via a text message Picture: Sarah Standing (311220-312)

When it asked for his username and password for his bank he realised it was a scam, quit the website and alerted his bank.

But the blatant scammers were too quick – and had already ordered a £20 Domino’s pizza.

Debbie, a pub kitchen worker, told The News: ‘It’s bad enough but we’re glad that’s all they got.

‘If we’d have had more money in there god knows what they would’ve taken.

Debbie Walsh Picture: Sarah Standing (311220-292)

Read More

Read More
Mum who survived coronavirus warns people not to bend rules to party this New Ye...

‘We feel humiliated, we’ve always been aware of these (types of) scams.

‘When click on it it looks like the NHS. I feel humiliated that we actually fell for this scam.

‘It worries me because we've put our address - it's a very scary thing how people can actually do that.’

The couple join the ranks of 21 others who, by December 20, had reported a Covid-19 vaccine scam to Action Fraud.

Gary did not submit the form on the fake website, but the fraudsters were still able to take his bank details.

Specialists at the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau are assessing the crime report.

Debbie, who said the pair were lucky they had not been paid when the scam happened, added: ‘It’s a very scary thing how people can actually do that.

‘In the situation a lot of people are in now, what money they get has got to keep them going because they’re not getting the full amount.

‘A lot of people are relying on just the furlough money they're getting at the moment, and you've got people out there scamming those people out of money they're relying on.

‘Vulnerable people who think it's legitimate don’t know there’s all those bogus sites.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage condemned the scammers actions on December 30.

She said: ‘It’s a sad fact that despicable fraudsters will go to any length to scam others.

‘We all need to be scam-aware. Remember you’ll never be asked for bank details for a Covid test or vaccine. Always think twice before sharing personal details with anyone you don’t know.’

Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, led by Dr Linda Collie, has warned about the scams. In a statement it said: ‘We are aware that some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the Cocvid-19 vaccination.

‘In some cases, people are asked to press a number on their keypad or to send a text message to confirm they wish to receive the vaccine.

‘Doing so is likely to result in a charge being applied to their phone bill. In other cases, callers are offering the vaccine for a fee or asking for bank details.’