Hartlepool hospital boss's warning over 'digital coronavirus passport' scam

Hospital bosses in Hartlepool are warning people to be vigilant after reports of a circulating scam email about “digital coronavirus passports”.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 1:24 pm

As holiday locations continue to open their airports to the UK and large-scale events are trialled, people may need to apply for an NHS Covid pass to show their vaccination details or test results.

But North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust say fraudsters, posing as NHS employees, are taking advantage of people’s enthusiasm for their holidays by offering phony passports in exchange for a fee.

The crooks have sent emails with links that redirect people to a fake but convincing “NHS” website that asks people to apply for your “digital coronavirus passport” using your personal and payment details.

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Deepak Dwarakanath

Deepak Dwarakanath, the trust’s medical director, said the NHS will never contact people to ask for payment details to obtain the NHS Covid pass.

He said: “It’s a disgrace that people would seek to scam others in this cruel manner.

“If you have had both of your vaccinations and need a pass, please obtain it using NHS channels. The NHS Covid pass is free to anyone who needs one and will remain free.”

Although the website has since been taken down, fraudsters can very quickly set up alternative sites, email addresses and phone numbers.

More information about the pass is available on the NHS and gov.uk websites.

If people do receive an email asking for payment details to apply for an NHS Covid pass, they are urged not to click any links, not to input any personal or bank details and to delete the email immediately.