An Garda Síochána has warned the public of an ongoing Covid-19 test and vaccination scam.
As part of the smishing scam, members of the public receive text message purporting to be from the HSE.
Covid-19 test scam
The text messages advise the public to book an appointment for a Covid-19 test through a link.
Once the person clicks on the link, they will be brought to a cloned website. Here, fraudsters will seek their personal information, including their PPS number and payment for the Covid-19 test or vaccine.
Gardaí explained that in most instances, the supplied links look very similar to the authentic HSE URL but may be misspelt.
Covid-19 tests and vaccines: The HSE will never look for payment’
In a statement, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána, said:
“Gardaí would like to again remind the public that the HSE will never look for payment for Covid-19 tests or vaccinations and the public should be wary of such text messages.”
“There are also other ‘smishing’ texts being received. These can purport to be from service providers, revenue, banks and/or delivery businesses.”
“Some can fit into the threads of previously received genuine texts which adds an air of authenticity to them.”
An Garda Síochána has issued the following advice:
- Never click on a link of an unsolicited text, email or respond to cold callers seeking personal information;
- Also, do not use reply or call the number these texts supply;
- Never give away personal data like PIN number, card numbers, passwords, one-time codes, PPSNs;
- The HSE will never text you seeking payment for Covid-19 tests or vaccines;
- Lastly, if you have responded to such a text or paid the scammers, contact your bank immediately for a recall.
The RSA and Gardaí’s joint road safety appeal
The RSA and Gardaí have issued a road safety appeal following the deaths of six road users in 24-hours.
Both bodies have urged the public to “take greater care on roads”.
Mr Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority, said:
“It has been a dark 24 hours on Irish roads which has seen an appalling loss of life.”
“Our thoughts are with the families of those who have been killed. These deaths should serve to remind us that everyone is at risk when using the roads.”
“We are at risk at any time of the day or week. Life is fragile, and using the roads is one of the most dangerous things we do each day; we must never forget this.”
Advice for road users:
- Slow down;
- Drive at the right speed for the conditions;
- Watch out for vulnerable road users;
- Do not drive when impaired through drink, drugs or fatigue;
- Always wear a seatbelt and ensure passengers are wearing theirs too, no matter how short the trip.
The government will launch a road safety strategy, which will, have at its heart, “the elimination of all road deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 2050”.