SA Police are issuing a warning for the public to be wary of potential scams, linked to the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine in SA.
Sergeant Jonathon Newman from the Financial and Cybercrime Investigation Branch said scammers regularly used current events to target people's fear and empathy.
"The COVID vaccination is free, but scammers will contact people offering them early access to the vaccine or to take part in a clinical trial if they pay them a fee," he said.
"Scammers will send emails and text messages purporting to be from legitimate sources.
"These messages may contain links or attachments that will take the user to a fake website which asks for personal information and/or payment to ensure they receive a vaccine or to participate in a vaccine trial."
If you are unsure whether a phone call about the COVID vaccine is legitimate, look for these warning signs:
- COVID-19 vaccine advertisements received via social media platforms, emails and telephone calls.
- Requests asking you to pay to put your name on a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list.
- Offers to undergo medical testing or procedures before obtaining a vaccine.
- Offers to sell or ship doses of a vaccine in exchange for payment of a deposit.
- Emails, telephone calls, or personal contact from someone asking you to participate in vaccine trials.
People are told to protect themselves by checking the spelling of web and email addresses to ensure they are legitimate and not respond to, or open email, attachments or links from unknown sources.
SAPOL also warns to be wary of fraudulent emails that request personal information.
There are also warnings to not trust caller ID as scammers can manipulate this to make phone calls and SMS messages appear to originate from legitimate sources. If in doubt, hang up the phone and call the person or organisation back on a know, reputable number.
Visit sahealth.sa.gov.au for up-to-date information about authorised vaccine distribution channels.
For more on scam protection, visit police.sa.gov.au/scams