Government warns of scams linked to vaccine and pandemic payments

Public are receiving fraudulent texts and calls asking for private information

There are reports that members of the public have been receiving text messages from an unknown number purported to be from Revenue. Photograph: iStock

There are reports that members of the public have been receiving text messages from an unknown number purported to be from Revenue. Photograph: iStock

 

The Government has warned of scams relating to Covid-19 vaccines and the €350 pandemic payments.

Senior civil servant Liz Canavan has urged people to contact vulnerable friends or relatives to make them aware of the possibility of fraudulent text messages or calls.

The assistant secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach made the warning at the Government’s Covid-19 briefing today.

She said the gardaí have been made aware of members of the public receiving fraudulent texts and calls about vaccinations and being asked to confirm private information such as their PPS number, date of birth and address.

“The HSE would never text or call individuals requesting personal information and they will never request payment for a Covid test or a vaccine,” Ms Canavan said.

“Your local GP will be the first point of contact about vaccination or Covid testing.

“The Covid-19 vaccine is free and is not available privately.

“We would ask that members of the public contact any vulnerable friends or family to make them aware of these calls and text messages,” Ms Canavan added.

She also warned of what she described another possible scam that appears linked to €350 payments such as the pandemic unemployment payment or enhanced illness benefit.

There are reports that members of the public have been receiving text messages from an unknown number purported to be from Revenue.

The text messages include a weblink and the person is asked to click in order to claim a payment of €350.

Ms Canavan said: “People are advised not to click on or to reply to any link which appears to be suspicious.

“We want to remind you that bank account, or other financial institution account, details are never requested from customers via text message or on social media.”

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