Pfizer vaccine scam warning issued – look out for an ‘Opinion Panel’ survey email | Personal Finance | Finance


Vaccines have been issued to nearly 30 million people according to the Government’s latest data and as it stands, there are three approved vaccines in use by the NHS. Unfortunately, those who have received the Pfizer/BioNTech will need to be wary moving forward.

Action Fraud notes fake emails often (but not always) display some of the following characteristics:

  • The sender’s email address doesn’t tally with the trusted organisation’s website address.
  • The email is sent from a completely different address or a free web mail address.
  • The email does not use your proper name, but uses a non-specific greeting like “dear customer”.
  • A sense of urgency; for example the threat that unless you act immediately your account may be closed.
  • A prominent website link. These can be forged or seem very similar to the proper address, but even a single character’s difference means a different website.
  • A request for personal information such as user name, password or bank details.
  • The email contains spelling and grammatical errors.
  • You weren’t expecting to get an email from the company that appears to have sent it.
  • The entire text of the email is contained within an image rather than the usual text format.
  • The image contains an embedded hyperlink to a bogus site.

“The fact that over the past year, more than £34.5million has been stolen from individuals and businesses is worrisome, and as a result of the pandemic, lockdown restrictions and social distancing, establishing trust digitally has never been more important.

“Nearly overnight, we saw a massive shift in how people were living their lives, and the dramatic uptick in consumers shifting to digital channels has forced people to operate in a way we otherwise wouldn’t have seen for years.

“But with this shift towards digital, a whole new market opened up for fraudsters. The digital shift has created a perfect environment for them to operate in, with lots of new technology tools to capitalise on this, such as caller ID spoofing or forwarding scams. We need to remember that the internet was built without ‘identity’ in mind, which means the complex set of data points which shape who we are, are now vital in keeping the wheels of commerce turning.

“They create digital trust, allowing people and providers to interact safely and remotely without opening the floodgates to fraud. Our recent research shows that a third of consumers are more worried about fraud, as a result of COVID-19 – most prominently banking (36 percent), followed by online shopping (10 percent). And not only is identity fraud already affecting one in five consumers, the ‘trust gap’ it creates poses a risk to industries which will depend on digital trust if they are to thrive in 2021 and beyond.

“This rise in identity fraud comes as an important reminder: for consumers to adjust to our digital-first new normal, and for businesses to truly prosper online and overcome the challenges of 2020, we must keep pushing on the technology and education required to make those online interactions fraud-free and frictionless.”

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