The news is full of stories about crashing vaccination scheduling websites, seniors who are unable to get their vaccine appointment, and how different states are rolling out their limited supplies of COVID vaccines.
People are becoming desperate in the scramble to get vaccinated during or even before their allotted time, and scammers know that and are banking on it.
Vaccine scams are so rampant that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an alert this week called “Help fight COVID vaccine scams: Share these tips with those you know.” It urges us to help protect the most vulnerable, including our loved ones and friends, and those that are particularly isolated.
The tips to share to help protect those around you from COVID vaccine scams include:
- Don’t pay to sign up for the COVID vaccine. Anyone who asks for a payment to put you on a list, make an appointment for you, or reserve a spot in line is a scammer.
- You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine. That’s a scam.
- Are you on Medicare? You don’t have to pay to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Only scammers will ask you to pay.
- Ignore sales ads for the vaccine. You can’t buy it – anywhere. It’s only available at federal- and state-approved locations.
- No legitimate person will call, text, or email you about the vaccine or ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. That’s a scam, too.
Heed these tips and share them widely with those you know.