Police issue warning as 'Covid fraudster' offers fake vaccine jabsJanuary 8, 2021
Police issue warning as ‘Covid fraudster’ goes door-to-door offering fake vaccine jabs for £160 each – saying he is ‘endangering lives’
A callous fraudster claiming to work for the NHS injected a 92-year-old woman with a fake Covid-19 vaccine and charged her £160.
The man called on the victim at her home in Surbiton, south-west London, and insisted he was from the NHS and was there to administer the vaccine.
She agreed to let him in and was jabbed in the arm with a ‘dart-like’ implement before the fraudster charged her £160 which he claimed would be later refunded by the NHS.
The City of London Police said it is not known what substance, if any, was administered, but the woman showed no ill effects after a check at her local hospital.
CCTV footage captured the fraudster who called on the 92-year-old and claimed he was from the NHS before administering a fake vaccine and demanding £160 from the victim
Detective Inspector Kevin Ives said: “This is a disgusting and totally unacceptable assault on a member of the public which won’t be tolerated.
“We are appealing to anyone who may have information that could assist us in identifying this man to get in touch.
“It is crucial we catch him as soon as possible as not only is he defrauding individuals of money, he may endanger people’s lives.”
Images released by police show the suspect dressed in a navy blue tracksuit with white stripes down the side. The images are from a second visit he made to the woman’s home in Kingsmead Avenue on Monday, when he asked for another £100.
He is described as a white man in his early thirties, who is around 5ft 9 inches tall, of medium build, with light brown hair that is combed back and speaks with a London accent.
Trading Standards had earlier warned of a scam where vulnerable people were sent fraudulent messages offering them early access to the vaccine
It comes as Trading Standards warned vulnerable people are being targeted with fraudulent messages offering them access to coronavirus vaccinations.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) said that text messages had been sent out including links to fake NHS websites that asked recipients for bank details, supposedly for verification purposes.
Such messages were first reported at the end of December on the Western Isles of Scotland, but the CTSI says they are ‘by no means limited to the region’.
Katherine Hart, lead officer at the 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.’
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