Although news of a Coronavirus vaccine seems like a stepping stone for Americans, the issue of scammers is now arising. It is believed that scammers are beginning to capitalize on this accomplishment in hopes of making money off innocent people. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a fraud alert on December 3rd, 2020. In this alert, it states that scammers have been using text messages, telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and even door to door visits to offer a fake COVID-19 vaccine for a fee. Not only are they looking to make money, but they are also hoping to get personal information about these innocent people as well such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.
These scammers are using this pandemic to benefit so it is crucial to be extra cautious during this time! All of these services offering a COVID-19 vaccine for a cost are unapproved and illegitimate. It is important to note that no government or state officials will call you to obtain personal information in exchange for a vaccine. Medicare will also not be calling any beneficiaries to offer a vaccine.
You should also avoid opening online links or text messages that offer a vaccine as these are scams as well. Although they may claim to be COVID-19 contract tracers, real tracers will never ask for personal information such as financial information or Medicare numbers. Legitimate contact tracers also will not be offering a vaccine to anyone.
To learn how else you can protect yourself from scammers, you can read the fraud alert released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services here.
If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam or if you suspect a COVID-19 fraud, report it immediately to 800-447-8477.