The government has started to administer a precautionary third dose of Covid-19 vaccine for citizens aged above 60. Due to a sudden surge in the spread of the Omicron variant, people are in a rush to get the booster jab and fraunders are seeing this as an opportunity to dupe people. In a new scam, cybercriminals are extracting key information from people under the pretext of providing details for the booster vaccine. Those details are used to siphon off money from the victim’s bank account.
How this Covid-19 booster shot scam happens
Fraudsters first give you a call and identify themselves as government employees. These criminals mostly call senior citizens. They then ask if they are double vaccinated. In a few cases, the caller already has all your information. They also confirm your name, age, address and other details to look genuine. Sometimes, the fraudsters even share the date of vaccination to look authentic.
After this, the caller asks you if you are interested in getting a Covid-19 vaccine booster jab and if you would like to book a slot for it. After confirming the suitable date and time for the jab, the fraudster will ask for the OTP that you receive on your mobile. This is where the real con job starts. The OTP is actually to validate the money transfer from your account. Once you tell them the OTP, the money from your bank account is transferred.
How to not become a victim of this scam
You should keep in mind that the government does not book vaccine slots through phone calls. If you wish to book a slot for Covid-19 vaccine, you can visit http://cowin.gov.in. You can also visit the page through Aarogya Setu mobile application. If you are not able to book a slot, you can still get your jab by walking into any vaccination centre with a valid government ID.
People usually avoid the message that comes along with an OTP, especially when they are expecting it. You should always read the message that comes with OTP as It reveals what the code will be used for and you should never share this one-time password with anyone.