BENGALURU: Police and Health Department officials have urged the public, especially the elderly, to be wary of fraudsters who ask for bank account information on the pretext of accessing the Covid vaccine.
A senior police officer who requested anonymity, said that messages claiming to be from the ‘Drug Authority of India’ are sent to people telling them their vaccine allocation is ready.
The message asks the person to confirm their Aadhaar number, using which they initiate a bank transfer. The bank would then send an OTP to the phone number which the scamsters would ask for, claiming that it was part of the initiation of the vaccine allocation process. Using the OTP, fraudsters access people’s bank accounts, the officer said.
Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar has also urged people to be wary of such scams. “Already, fake apps on Google PlayStore and other platforms claiming to be the government-owned Co-Win app are doing the rounds. There is no such app and no messages seeking any details of the public have been sent (by the government). The Union Ministry will give out information as and when required,” Sudhakar said.
Both the Centre and State governments have repeatedly said that the vaccine will be first administered to health care workers and frontline staff. After health and frontline staff are vaccinated, people above 50 and those below 50 who have comorbidities would get the jab. “But even for this, the government will make proper announcements and procedures will also be specified for registration.
People should not fall prey to messages coming from just any kind of platform,” the health minister said.
According to data available from the Central health ministry, after the app is launched, people will be able to see different modules on the platform.
They can choose between self-registration, individual and bulk registration to get in line for vaccination.
A senior police officer also said that at present, vaccines are allowed to be sold or administered only in places designated by the government. Hence, people claiming to be vaccinators, or sellers of vaccines should not be believed.