Fraud Fighters: COVID vaccine scams target those most at risk

SPONSORED CONTENT: Fraud Fighters

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Joining us this morning is Jamie Harding with AARP Alabama, Chad Petri talked to her over Zoom last week. The hottest shot in town is the Coronavirus vaccine, but with so many people interested in it and with seniors one of the first priority groups to get it, scammers are using the promise of a vaccine to steal your money. First, let’s talk about the rollout and how to legitimately know when and where you can get it.

Guest: Information you can really trust is by going to either your local county health department calling them or contacting them on their website, and you can get the information from Alabama public health.gov, That’s the state health department website, they have a plan for rolling out the vaccine, now they are in the midst of the high priority group which are frontline healthcare workers and nursing home, residents.

Chad: We should point out that there is no way to buy your way onto a vaccination priority list, talk about that scam.

Guest: Right there are scammers who are calling, texting, sending an email claiming you can pay a fee, get to the top of the list, this is a scam there is no way you can do that, right now the rollout is happening in a very orderly fashion in terms of who’s being prioritized you can’t pay your way on a list.

Chad: What about situations where people are asked to pay for a vaccine how do you know that might be fraudulent.

Guest: First of all the vaccine is being paid for by the federal government so injections, vials are free, administering the vaccine may involve a small fee from the provider who is giving you this vaccine when you get it so you may have to pay through insurance for administering the vaccine, but the vaccine is free, anyone saying you have to pay for the vaccine is scamming you.

Chad: What about social media notifications about getting the vaccine what do you need to watch for there?

Guest: You have to watch out for anything that comes out on social media, there’s no solicitation through social media, anything on social media that claims you can register or anything like that unless it’s coming from your county department of health or Alabama Department of Health it’s a scam.

Chad: Also you have to watch for people claiming to be with Medicare or your insurance company asking for your information.

Guest: This is another way fraud can occur if someone calls saying they’re going to register you for the vaccine or put you on a list for the vaccine but they need your Social Security number or they need your Medicare information to do so, that is also a scam, they can use your Social Security number to assume your identity, use Medicare information to make fraudulent charges so don’t give any of that information over the phone unless you are 100% sure who you are talking to.

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