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Gardaí reissue warning of Covid-19 text scam

Gardaí have renewed their advice to people to be aware of ‘smishing’ scams that feature text messages falsely claiming to be from the HSE.

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The text message, purporting to be from the HSE, has been sent to people saying they have been in contact with someone who has Covid 19 variant.

Crime Prevention Officer for Clare Sergeant Triona Brooks said: “The text asks the person to follow instructions on a link in the text to order a testing kit. When you click on this link it brings you to a page where they require a fee to deliver through Fast Tracking Delivery and to book now.

Anyone who receives this text should not click on the link and if you do don’t enter any details,” Sgt Brooks added/

This particular scam text message, which has begun circulating again this week, states that the recipient is a Covid-19 close contact, and asks them to visit a malicious website to order a PCR testing kit. The link directs them to a website that looks legitimate and is similar to the HSE website. This page will ask for your billing and personal information to deliver antigen tests.

The HSE is reminding people to be vigilant in relation to scam texts. The HSE does not charge for Covid-19 related services, including testing, and texts indicating otherwise should be ignored.

You will NEVER be asked for your bank details or to pay for a vaccine by a member of HSE vaccination staff.

If you are unsure about a text message or phone call you have received from the HSE please contact HSELive on 1800 700 700. If you have been a victim of this type of fraud please contact your local Gardaí.

We would ask that members of the public make contact with any vulnerable friends or family to make them aware of these calls and text messages.

One of the texts that has been circulating

Tips and Advice

Never disclose private information over phone or via text message.

Do not give out your PPS Number to anyone who makes unsolicited contact with you whether by phone or email.

Never give away personal data or disclose who you may live with or if you live alone.

The HSE will never request payment for a Covid test or vaccine.

If you receive such a call, just hang up.

Anyone who mistakenly provides personal information in response to this scam should contact report the matter to their local Garda Station.

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