A WARNING has been made after money was stolen from a 92-year-old woman who believed she was getting a coronavirus vaccination.

A man and a woman conned their way into the woman's home in Eston, in Middlesbrough. by pretending to be from the NHS.

A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said the victim was distracted by the woman and the man took money from inside the address before both criminals fled.

The elderly lady was uninjured but left shaken and confused by the event. Detectives are conducting house-to-house enquiries and are looking at CCTV in the area.

In another incident, at about 11am on January 19, a 76-year-old woman was in the garden of a house in Fabian Road, Eston, when she was approached by a woman wearing a visor, plastic pinafore, and carrying a vanity case offering to give the victim a private vaccine for £100.

Despite the perpetrator being persistent, the victim realised it was a scam and declined, and the woman left in a car towards Church Lane.

The description of the fraudster is of skinny build with a "geordie" accent.

Superintendent Emily Harrison said: “These are two particularly distressing cases and we are concerned that people are exploiting the vaccine campaign in this way. Fraudsters do not care who their victim is, that’s why we must do all we can to tell our family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues about the tactics that they use. We need to work together to close the door and hang up the phone on these criminals. The vaccine is a really positive step forward for local people and the area."

“Our detectives are investigating both cases and will be looking at CCTV in the local area and doing all we can to find those responsible. Anyone with information on these incidents can call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Those who believe they have been a victim of fraud can also contact Action Fraud on their helpline 0300 123 2040.”

Mark Adams, director of Public Health for South Tees, said: “We have seen how pleased people have been to receive the vaccine when it is their turn to do so, but sadly this positivity also brings out criminals who look to steal money on the back of the life-saving programme.

“Please remember, the NHS will always provide the vaccine free of charge. The NHS will never ask for, or accept, cash for vaccines, never ask for your bank details or identity documents and will never come to your house unannounced.

“The roll-out of the vaccine promises great hope for everybody, but please be careful not to fall victim to fraud.”