Published on 18/01/21

How to spot scam COVID-19 HM Government SMS messages, phone calls and emails

Genuine UK Government SMS messages will only ever come from UK_Gov and will only ever direct individuals to GOV.UK/coronavirus. Be extremely cautious clicking any links or attachments from other sources as they may lead to malicious sites or have the ability to download malicious software onto your device.

It is important to note that COVID-19 scams are not limited to SMS text messages, it is also important be wary of phone calls and emails regarding COVID-19.

If you are unsure about a message you have received directly refer to the official government website for guidance or utilise the ‘Contact Us’ section to access further information and services.

If you receive a text message, email or phone call asking for payment details for the vaccine, do not give any personal information. The vaccination is free of charge and the NHS/government will not be asking for payment.

If you are looking to buy PPE, use your search engine to get to a trusted site. Opening links sent to you via text or email may lead to fraudulent sites trying to steal data.

So, what should you do if you receive a fraudulent text, email or phone call?

  • Hang up or don’t respond.
  • Do not follow any links or open any attachments that may be included.
  • If you receive what you believe to be a phishing email, it is recommended you forward the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk
  • If you receive what you believe to be a scam text message, it is recommended you forward it to Action Fraud at by texting 7726.