Police on both sides of border warn against vaccination scams


Beware of vaccine scams. Photo courtesy of Daniel Schludi.

Police on both sides of the border are advising members of the public to be aware of potential scams relating to the Covid-19 vaccine.

In Northern Ireland, several members of the public have received a text message which reads ‘we have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine’ and links to a convincing, but fake, NHS page which then asks for bank details.

In the Republic, members of the public have in recent days received fraudulent text messages and calls regarding Covid-19 vaccination. The text messages have made requests for people to confirm private and sensitive information such as their PPS number, date of birth, and address. The phone calls have included requests that that they make an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine jab at a random hospital.

In most cases, the person receiving the call will say that they are not in a position to travel to the hospital. This allows the caller to extract further personal details. Some individuals might confirm that they live alone or reveal their home address. The caller will then offer to come to their residence to administer a vaccine.

You can protect yourself and your relatives, friends and neighbours with this advice:
• Do not open attachments or click on links in emails or texts from numbers you don’t know.
• Never give out your personal information, banking details or passwords in response to an email, text or phone call without verifying that the caller is who they say they are.
• Block any numbers you find suspicious.
• Always go to a website directly, by typing out the address yourself, when logging into an account. Do not click on links.
• Keep an eye out for spelling mistakes in messages and emails.
• Never disclose who you may live with or if you live alone.
• Remember that the NHS and HSE will never request payment for a Covid test or vaccine.
• If you receive a suspicious call, just hang up.
• If you have questions or concerns relating to Covid testing or vaccination, contact your local GP.

Reporting a scam

Anyone who is concerned they have been a victim of a scam in Northern Ireland can either report the matter to Action Fraud via their website: or by phoning 0300 123 2040. Police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101 or you can submit a report online using the PSNI’s non-emergency reporting form via

Residents in the Republic should report any suspected scams to their local Garda station.

Find out more about spotting a scam: For further advice and information in Northern Ireland, visit or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni

Frequently asked questions and answers about scams and other types of fraud are available on An Garda Síochána’s website at

Vaccination information: Official public health information on the Covid-19 vaccination programmes in Northern Ireland and the Republic is provided at and