AARP Scam Alert: COVID-19 vaccine scams surface
January 11, 2021
With the first coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. now authorized, government officials are warning that scammers will try to capitalize on the historic step to steal your money.
Fraudsters are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams, according to the U.S. Department of Health.
Be wary of anyone who offers you a vaccine or asks for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility. If you see an offer to reserve your vaccine for a fee, you know it’s a scam. Also, government officials will not call you to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine.
Here are five things to know:
1. Initially, the vaccine will be available in limited quantities, so people should turn to trusted resources — their doctor or local health department — for guidance.
2. People should not buy any kind of coronavirus vaccine or treatment on the Internet or from an online pharmacy.
3. Doses of vaccine purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be provided to patients at no cost. Providers, though, may charge an administration fee and have that fee reimbursed by insurance companies. There’s also a means of reimbursement for those who are uninsured.
4. Consumers should not respond to any solicitations about the vaccine.
5. People should not give credit card numbers or any other form of payment to suspicious callers, nor should they divulge personal, medical or financial information.
Stay vigilant about COVID-19 scams related to vaccines, treatments, test kits and personal protective equipment.
AARP North Dakota will be conducting a COVID-19 vaccination telephone town hall at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 14.
Learn about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in North Dakota and find out when you and your loved ones will have access to the vaccine. You can participate in the town hall by dialing 877-229-8493, or sign up to be called at the start of the town hall at https://vekeo.com/aarpnorthdakota/
If you think you have fallen victim to any type of scam, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 877-908-3360 for guidance and support, or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at http://www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.