UK Police began the hunt for a fraudster who collected £160 from a 92-year-old woman for a fake COVID-19 vaccine.
The fraudster knocked on the door of the pensioner in Surbiton, southwest London, on December 30, claiming to work for the state-run National Health Service (NHS).
She let him into her home, where he jabbed her in the arm with a “dart-like implement” before asking her for £160 ($217, 177 euros), which he said would be refunded.
The City of London Police, which investigates frauds and other scams, said it was not known what substance was injected, but the victim showed no ill effects.
Detective Inspector, Kevin Ives said, “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.”
It comes after the NHS warned people that no-one should be turning up at doorsteps offering a vaccine for payment, following a spate of fake text messages.
Britain began a mass vaccination programme on December 8 last year, prioritising care home residents and workers, the over-70s, and other vulnerable groups.
Officers released CCTV footage on Friday of a man dressed in a navy blue tracksuit with white stripes down the side, who they want to speak to in connection with the incident.
He is described as a white man in his early 30s, who is about 5ft 9ins (1.75m) tall, of medium build, with light brown hair that is combed back. He speaks with a London accent.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “NHS England will never ask for bank details, Pin numbers or passwords when contacting you about a vaccination.
“Any communication which claims to be from the NHS but asks for payment, or bank details, is fraudulent and can be ignored. It can be reported to police via Action Fraud.
“You will never be charged for the vaccine.”
Read more on our World News Page
- Shoprite Workers Begin Nationwide Strike
- Emir of Karaga, Alhaji Salihu Tanko dies
- Fire breaks out at Army Headquarters In Abuja
- Two Men Who Flaunt Their Wealth On Social Media Caught During Robbery Operation (Video)
- Nigeria Receives First Doses Of COVAX COVID-19 Vaccines