Although COVID-19 vaccines are on the way, scammers are looking for their next victims now more than ever. While distribution plans for the vaccine are still in the works, it’s not too early to talk about how to avoid the scams that are popping up around the vaccine. Here are three tips to ensure you keep your personal information protected:
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3 Ways to Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams - Infographic
1. Avoid paying to put your name on a list to get the vaccine sooner
Be wary of any email or phone call that asks for any money or personal information to get you "moved up" further on the list to get the vaccine. The federal government is ensuring that the vaccine will be distributed in a specific order, meaning that if anyone promises to give you the vaccine earlier, that's a major red flag. If you do get a phone call or email asking for your personal information, hang up immediately or delete the email and don't click on any links to avoid giving scammers any of your personal information.
2. Beware of people trying to sell you treatments or vaccines that are not legit
Fraudsters are taking advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine by offering fake vaccines to individuals who offer their Social Security number or other personal information. To ensure that a vaccine is legit, make sure to check with your local health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, a good rule of thumb is to always go through your healthcare provider for information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine to avoid being exploited by any fraudsters.
3. Hang up if you get a call about the vaccine that asks for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number
Nobody will ever call you about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security, if they do, rest assured it's a scam. Additionally, if you get a call that asks for your credit card number or bank account information, rest assured that's a scam. No healthcare official will ever ask for personal information like that via the phone. If you do get a phone call asking for personal information like that, make sure to hang up the phone immediately to avoid giving them anymore information.
The Bottom Line
There's no doubt that this is a time of a lot of uncertainty and fear for the unknown future for our world right now. With that being said, make sure you keep your eyes peeled and watch out for red flags and warning signs of fraudulent behavior that may be taking advantage of you.
If your curiosity is getting the best of you and you have to know when you will get the vaccine, take matters into your own hands and check for yourself where you fall in line to get the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted guidelines for the distrubution of the vaccine as well as who qualifies for early vaccination.
Lastly, to protect yourself from fraud, make sure to always check directly with your local healthcare workers and never give personal information over the phone or via email.
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