The organisation reported that it has received evidence of fraudulent messages being sent to the public informing them that a dose of the new COVID-19 vaccine is available to them.
People are being sent a text message claiming to be from the NHS which informs the recipient that: “We have identified that you are eligible to apply for your vaccine.” and the message ends with a link to a bogus website mocked up to look like a legitimate NHS platform.
The website requests personal details, including name and address, and most-concerningly asks for banking details, which are supposedly for verification.
The CTSI has confirmed that this is the latest in a series of scams themed around the pandemic in circulation since last March.
With the UK vaccine rollout now underway, scammers have modified their hacking attempts to consider this new development, with such phoney messages first being reported at the end of December by people living on the Western Isles of Scotland, and leading the NHS on the Isles to inform the public that: “Health Boards will never ask for any details about your bank account.”
This scam is by no means limited to the region though, and people throughout the UK are warned that they may receive similar messages.
Speaking on the rise of the scam, Katherine Hart – Lead Officer at CTSI – said: “I have been tracking and warning the public about COVID-19-related scams since the beginning of the pandemic, and at every stage of response, unscrupulous individuals have modified their campaigns to defraud the public.
“The vaccine brings great hope for an end to the pandemic and lockdowns, but some only wish to create even further misery by defrauding others.
“The NHS will never ask you for banking details, passwords, or PIN numbers and these should serve as instant red flags.
“Do not provide any information to the scammers, but please also report suspicious messages to Action Fraud, or if in Scotland, Police Scotland, as this provides intelligence and assists authorities in combating scams.”
Greater Manchester Police has also issued a warning to local residents regarding the issue on social media this week, confirming that: “Fake NHS text has been circulating telling people that they’re eligible to apply for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Do not click on links in unknown texts [and] never give out your personal details.”
Action Fraud – the UK’s national reporting service for fraud and financially motivated cyber crime – has also confirmed this week that it is continuing to receive “a high volume of reports about fake coronavirus vaccination emails and texts”.
A total of 1,166 vaccine-related scam emails were reported over 24 hours.
Always remember to keep vigilant.
You can report suspicious messages to Action Fraud here, or call – 0300 123 2040.
Molly-Mae Hague has welcomed her first baby… according to boxer Jake Paul
Jake Paul appears to have spilled the beans on Molly-Mae Hague, announcing that she has given birth to her first baby with his rival Tommy Fury.
Super influencer Molly-Mae, 23, has maintained radio silence on Instagram for the last week, leading to many fans speculating that she has welcomed her baby girl and is taking some privacy out of the public eye.
Many assumed that she would bide her time for a huge announcement video, as she did with her pregnancy announcement back in September.
But it appears that Jake Paul has jumped the gone and made the announcement for the young couple, who met on the fifth series of Love Island.
YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake posted on Twitter today, alongside a poster promoting his upcoming fight with Tommy: “Tommy has no excuses now…Baby’s born. Money’s massive. Immigration no issue.
“Tyson promises he & Papa will make Tommy retire from boxing & change his last name if he can’t beat the YouTuber.
“Tmw I’m coming to London to look at all 3 Fury’s in the eye & shake on that promise.”
Of course, the internet has completely lost its mind that Molly-Mae’s undoubtedly tasteful baby announcement has been usurped in this way.
One person posted on Twitter: “Jake Paul announcing Molly Mae’s birth before Molly Mae or Tommy is the biggest sh*thousery I’ve seen this year.”
Another wrote: “ermmm did Jake Paul just let slip that Molly Mae’s given birth before she announced it or??”
Someone else commented: “Not Jake Paul announcing molly mae having her baby before molly mae what a prick.”
Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury have not yet addressed the message from Jake Paul.
Featured image: Instagram, @mollymae
Tim Healy surprises fans with performance at The 1975’s Newcastle gig
The 1975’s tour has seen some seriously memorable moments so far, including several special guest appearances, but seeing Tim Healy give a surprise performance has to be the jewel in the crown.
While the band might have formed in the Wilmslow and plied their trade in Manchester on their way to success, several members of the current lineup — including frontman Matty Healy himself — were born in Newcastle, so the gig at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday was very much a homecoming show.
With that in mind, when British TV royalty, Geordie icon and Matty’s old man, Tim Healy popped up on stage, the crowd understandably went wild.
There were no doubt plenty of confused faces when a trademark Matty monologue and sudden cut to black was followed by the bloke from Benidorm appearing up on stage, but there was also a scream bigger than any response Taylor Swift got.
Whipping out some significantly more dramatic thespian ability than the kind you’d associate with his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet days, albeit still fully aware of bizarre the entire spectacle was, he brought one of his son’s trademark digressions about method acting to a close.
But better than that, the 70-year-old ended up staying on stage to perform his own low-key ‘All I Need to Hear‘ cover as the band played in the background. Surreal.
To be honest, it might just be the wholesomeness of it all, but we think we might prefer the older Healy’s version.
Sing it, Tim!
Imagine bringing your dad onto the stage only for him to absolutely steal the show. Brilliant stuff.
Both he and Matty’s celebrity mum Denise Welch have been spotted at various shows as the band continue to perform their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour around the country, with various fans interacting with them in the crowd, but very few would have been expecting an impromptu song from one of them.
Both are obviously more closely associated with TV, with Welch known for appearing on the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Loose Women and many more, but if we don’t up end up getting both of them on stage before this tour is over we’ll be genuinely fuming.
It also looks like the reaction meant a lot to him:
Elsewhere in the show, The 1975’s Newcastle fans were treated to an equally ridiculous surprise appearance from Harry Styles. Well, not really…
In case you haven’t seen it already, the band conspired to prank the crowd by putting the former One Direction star’s name up on the screen, only to bring out Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi instead.
He obviously got just as lovely a reaction and fully leaned into bantering with the crowd — joking, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Harry Styles‘ looks a bit different.'” — before performing a cover of ‘Antichrist’.