The man was a well-known scammer targeting the elderly and the frail. Concerns about this scam do not include the fact that an elderly woman was taken on a trip, but that others may also have fallen victim and now believe they have been vaccinated.
The scam was shared on the BBC’s Fraud Squad, after a nationwide public appeal brought the fraudster to justice.
While scams are usually seen as malicious, this tactic in particular affected a variety of aspects not just the pockets of victims.
Kevin Hansford, a specialty attorney general for the Crown Prosecution Service, spoke about the case he investigated on the programme.
Mr. Hansford noted: “It was a particularly difficult time as the country was back on lockdown with a lot of restrictions in place. There was a lot of concern. A lot of concern about infection, about treatment, about survival rates if they did get infected.”
This fraud occurred near the start of the government’s vaccination campaign, when it was still targeting the elderly and the frail.
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Mr Hansford noted that it was “a particularly difficult time as the country was going back to lockdown with a lot of restrictions in place. There was a lot of anxiety. A lot of anxiety about infection, about treatment, about survival rates if you did get infected” .
For many of these concerns, new vaccines appear to be the answer.
However, Mr. Hansford also emphasized that this was more than just an opportunity for the world to get back to normal.
“The vaccination program has provided an opportunity for fraudsters to basically exploit people,” he said.
“This trial is the first we’ve had of someone who offered to administer a COVID-19 vaccine, which was reprehensible.”
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An elderly woman made a man knock on her door pretending to be an NHS worker giving her a Covid vaccine, surprisingly.
Shortly before that, the woman was legitimately contacted through surgery to say she should expect a vaccination soon.
With this in mind, she was not at all thrown into the fraudster’s allegations and allowed into her home.
Mr. Hansford continued: ‘She sat down, rolled up her sleeve and pressed something to the back of her hand. Then he said he wanted some money from her.’
The man asked for £100 and said the NHS would give it back to the woman.
The woman went to find the £100, but on returning to give it to the man, he insisted it was actually an extra £40.
Then he left the building briskly, with the woman now £140 lighter and realizing she had been scammed.
She immediately reported it to the police, who fortunately realized that she had not been injected with anything because the skin on her hand had not been broken.
However, he pressured her with something that made her believe she had received the vaccination now, which is a big cause for concern for the police.
The police managed to find TV footage of the man but had no idea who he was or where he lived, until a startling turn of events.
The fraudster returned to the 92-year-old victim, this time demanding another £100 for the fake vaccine.
Mr Hansford shared: “The victim, having realized that she had been cheated once, would not fall for her again and had sent him on his way and immediately called the police again.”
Police arrested the fraudster shortly after a widely circulated patriotic appeal in the press.