Police are on the hunt for a fraudster who jabbed a 92-year-old woman with a fake COVID-19 vaccine, claiming to work for the NHS.
City of London Police are searching for the man who charged £160 to a woman in Surbiton, south west London, telling her that she would be reimbursed by the NHS.
Police said the woman allowed the man into her home, where he jabbed her with what she described as a “dart-like implement”. He returned to the address days later and asked for a further £100.
It is not known whether any substance was administered to the woman, but she was checked at a local hospital and suffered no ill effects.
Detective Inspector Kevin Ives from the City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit said: “This is a disgusting and totally unacceptable assault on a member of the public which won’t be tolerated.
“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.”
The rollout of the Oxford vaccine aims to vaccinate 13 million people by mid-February, including all over-80s. Under the plans, people will be invited to be vaccinated by their GP or healthcare provider.
A spokesman for the Department of Health told the BBC: "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."