UK police hunt COVID vaccine conman

London:  British police on Friday hunted a fraudster who tricked a 92-year-old woman into handing over £160 to receive a fake coronavirus vaccine jab in what they called a “disgusting and totally unacceptable assault”.

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The conman 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).

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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.

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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.

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“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,” said Detective Inspector Kevin Ives.

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Meanwhile, Northern Ireland police warned internet users about a phishing scam in which they are told they are “eligible” for a vaccine before being asked for bank details.

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Britain began a mass vaccination programme on December 8 last year, prioritising care home residents and workers, the over-70s, and other vulnerable groups.

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