With confirmed deaths in the United States at more than 300,000 and with the actual number probably even higher, it was a welcome development when the first three million doses of the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine were shipped out on December 13th. However, as welcome as this development is, scammers are taking advantage of the early vaccine distribution to scam people. In one of the scams, people are receiving phone calls that appear to be coming from the Social Security Adminsitration inviting them to sign up to receive a dose of the Pfizer vacine. However, as a part of the sign-up process, you are asked for your name, address, Social Security number, Medicare number and even, in some instances, your bank account information or credit card information. In some instances, the scam victim is asked to pay a fee to receive priority in the distribution of the vaccine. The truth is that the Social Security Administration is not calling anyone about getting the vaccine and no one is being asked to pay a fee to be put on a priority list to receive the vaccine This is just a scam to get your personal information and use it to make you a victim of identity theft.
Even if the call you receive offering you a dose of the vaccine appears on your Caller ID to have come from the CDC or Pfizer it is not to be trusted. Using a technique called spoofing your Caller ID can be manipulated by the scammer to make the call appear to come from a legitimate source when, in fact, it is coming from a scammer. No legitimate companies or governmental agencies are calling people offering the vaccine and asking for personal information and there is no program that provides for people to pay a fee to be put on a priority list to receive the first doses of the Coronavirus vaccine.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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