While the rate of infections have recently gone down somewhat, the Coronavirus continues to ravage the United States, where fatalities have reached 500,000, as well as the rest of the world. Fortunately, vaccinations are happening although getting an appointment for a vaccine shot in much of the country is difficult and confusing. Of course, scammers are only too willing to take advantage of this situation and they are contacting people by phone, email and text messages with a variety of scams intended to steal your money or get information from you that they will use to make you a victim of identity theft.
Scammers are calling people posing as a legitimate public health organization in an effort to lure people into paying to be placed on an expedited list to receive the vaccine. 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 some other legitimate source 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. These scammers will ask 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.
Scammers posing as Medicare workers are also calling seniors offering in-home vaccinations. They then ask for your Medicare number which, although it is no longer your Social Security number, can still lead to Medicare fraud and identity theft.
The truth is that you do not need to provide your Social Security number or credit card number to anyone when signing up for a Coronavirus vaccine appointment and there are no expedited lists to receive the vaccine which you can get put on by paying a fee. There are no fees involved in getting your Coronavirus vaccine shot.
Be particularly wary of advertisements for Coronavirus vaccines appearing on social media. They are filled with scams. Only deal with official vaccine distribution centers.
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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