NHS England has asked the public to be vigilant after several fake NHS accounts have emerged on social media, asking members of the public for donations.
A spokesperson for NHS England said:
‘Sadly, we’ve noticed posts being shared and fake NHS accounts being set up asking for donations.
‘These are completely false; we will never ask you for money.
‘Please make sure you get your information from official sources like nhs.uk/coronavirus and gov.uk/coronavirus’.
NHS Nightingale, the ‘field hospital’ located in London’s Excel Centre, has also warned members about a fake account which has been set up on Facebook.
A Spokesperson for NHS Nightingale said:
‘Unfortunately, a fake Facebook account has been set up for the Nightingale Hospital London asking people to share rainbow pictures.
‘Please be aware of misinformation and only get your information from trusted sources like nhs.uk’.
Recently, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reported a new trend in fraud related to COVID-19.
Figures dated 20th March indicated that fraudsters had swindled just under £1 million from victims who had been duped into handing over money during the crisis.
Superintendent Sanjay Andersen, Head of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, said:
“Fraudsters will use any opportunity they can to take money from innocent people. This includes exploiting tragedies and global emergencies.
“The majority of scams we are seeing relate to the online sale of protective items, and items that are in short supply across the country, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’re advising people not to panic and to think about the purchase they are making. When you’re online shopping, it’s important to do your research and look at reviews of the site you are buying from.”
Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre, said:
“We have already seen fraudsters using the COVID-19 pandemic to scam people looking to buy medical supplies online, sending emails offering fake medical support and targeting people who may be vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home.
“These frauds try to lure you in with offers that look too good to be true, such as high return investments and ‘healthcare opportunities’, or appeals for you to support those who are ill or bogus charities.
“The advice is simple, think very carefully before you hand over your money, and don’t give out your personal details unless you are sure who you are dealing with.
“We are working together across law enforcement, government and the private sector to combat this criminal activity and protect the public. If you think you have been a victim, please report to Action Fraud.”
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