One in 10 people affected by COVID-19 vaccination scam

One in 10 adults in the UK has been targeted or knows someone else who has been a targeted by a coronavirus vaccination scam, according to new research from Canada Life.

This figure, based on research among 2,000 UK adults in January, climbs to one in four for those between the ages of 18 and 34.

Canada Life was responding to findings from the FCA yesterday that revealed 1.4 million adults have lost money to a COVID-19 scam.

“As we make great progress on vaccinations across the country it is sad to see that con artists will stop at nothing to make a quick buck,” said Canada Life technical director, Andrew Tully. “The pandemic has unfortunately provided a new opportunity for fraudsters to prey on vulnerabilities and fears.”

Responding to warnings about the rise of COVID-19 vaccination scams, Tully also called financial scams an unfortunate “prevalent scourge on our society” and suggested the pandemic has provided the “perfect camouflage” for scammers to increase their activity as they prey on the elderly, vulnerable and financially stretched.

“The impact of scams is not just a financial hit, the hidden costs to mental health can be severe as victim’s ability to trust is shattered overnight,” Tully added.

“Despite the public message campaigns and the ban on cold-calling, the scammers are either simply ignoring the law or looking to sophisticated campaigns over social media in order to con people out of their savings.

“We all need to be on our guard and also look out for other family members. The rapid rise of romance scams and using the Track and Trace service only serves to show we all need to be vigilant, scam aware and follow the simple rule of thumb – if it appears too good to be true, it inevitably is. Simply walk away, hang up, or delete the email or text.”

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