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Covid vaccine scam: ‘Disgusting’ fraudster cons woman, 92, into paying £160 for fake jab

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express– Police have launched an urgent manhunt for the suspected conman, warning he “may endanger people’s lives”. The victim allowed him into her home in Surbiton, south-west London, on December 30 after he said he was from the NHS and there to administer the coronavirus vaccine.

“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 the force 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 demanded 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.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting reference 3042 and the date Jan 7 2021, or contact Crimestoppers.

Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, has warned of coronavirus vaccine scams.

As of January 7, it had received 57 reports in relation to the coronavirus vaccine.

Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said: “The vaccine is a crucial tool in fighting the coronavirus and keeping people safe.

“Thankfully, the number of reports into Action Fraud are relatively low but we have seen an increase in the last two months, particularly around scam text messages.

“Remember, the vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge.

“The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine.

“If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.”