There is hope at the end of this long pandemic: now that vaccines are available, many people can see their families and enjoy some of their favorite activities once again. The demand for vaccination appointments has been understandably high, with priority being placed on vaccines for the older populations and most vulnerable people.
When it’s your turn to schedule a vaccination appointment for yourself or a loved one, what is the best method to get the appointment? Be warned: the eagerness for COVID-19 vaccines is also bringing out many opportunities for scammers.
Scammers Impersonating Vaccine Providers
In recent articles, we’ve shared information about scammers stealing money through stimulus scams or other COVID-related strategies. The latest scam that’s coming to light is focused on scammers who are taking advantage of people who want the vaccine.
According to the FCC, there is an uptick in the number of text messages and phone calls, with scammers impersonating vaccine providers and local health departments. Often, the scammer is looking for financial or personal information under the guise of scheduling an appointment for the vaccination.
Another scam is that these fraudsters are asking people to pay to be put on the vaccination list, to reserve an appointment for the shot. This offer is always a scam – no legitimate clinics offer the option to pay for early access.
Protecting Your Loved Ones from Vaccination Scams
Be smart about your decisions when it’s time to book a vaccination appointment. Know that there is never a legitimate time when someone will call to ask for your bank account numbers, credit card information, or Social Security number – not from a vaccine clinic, pharmacy, Medicare, or even your doctor’s office.
The best solution is to work with your local health department directly to get information about scheduling an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccination. Another option is to reach out to your primary care provider for recommendations about accessing the vaccine. With a little bit of research, you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
At Senior Safe and Sound, we’ve seen how dangerous scams can be – especially when the scammers are targeting vulnerable adults. Our goal is to share information to reduce your family’s likelihood of falling victim to a scam, elder abuse, or fraud. For additional information, contact us at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.