Scammers love a time of crisis, and they are more than willing to take advantage of people in need. They pounce when everyone is vulnerable, and hopes are high. The second the vaccine hit the market, a lot of Covid-19 vaccine scams did too. Here’s what you need to know about scams and how to avoid them.
Known Covid-19 Scams
You should be aware of several different vaccine scams as you go in search of your dose. Most of them revolve around asking for money, but others don’t. Keep reading, so you know what to be on the lookout for.
Scams Asking For Money
If someone asks you to pay or give out your personal information, it’s a scam. The only way you will receive a vaccine is through a designated government vaccination site. These are usually hospitals, pharmacies, or a mass vaccination site. You can start your search for a specified distribution center on the CDC website. This is where you’ll find the best information for your state.
Your vaccination site may charge you an administration fee, but this will be done at the vaccination site, not before you get there. The charge can be reimbursed by insurance or through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. Either way, you won’t be turned away if you can’t afford it.
If they claim they can ship a vaccine to you for a fee, it’s one of the Covid-19 vaccine scams. None of the vaccine distribution companies are shipping out doses to individuals. You should also refrain from attempting to administer your own vaccine. The only place you can get a vaccine is at an authorized vaccination site.
It’s also a scam if they offer you early access to the vaccine in exchange for any payment. You’re eligible for the vaccine when the government says you’re eligible. You can’t get the vaccine any sooner than that. You also can’t pay to get an earlier appointment or for a spot on a waitlist. Only a select few areas have waitlists, and they’re mostly for the elderly who haven’t gotten their vaccine yet. Unless you fall into that group, you will not get on the waitlist at this time.
Other Types Of Scams
As far as Covid-19 vaccine scams go, having you sign up for an appointment through an unverified site is growing in popularity. Always check that your local health department supports the website that you’re using. It’s best to schedule through a pharmacy or your local health department. That is the only real way to ensure it’s a valid appointment.
The last scam you need to look out for is anything involving extra testing. You do not need to have a Covid-19 test or anti-bodies test done before you get your vaccine. Any communications saying that you need to pay for further testing are not legitimate.
How To Spot The Scams
You have to stay vigilant. It’s easy to ignore your suspicions when you’re excited to get the vaccine. Unfortunately, if something seems fishy, it probably is. If they ask you to pay out of pocket for the vaccine or a spot on the waitlist, it’s not genuine. It’s not possible to pay for a waitlist spot or an early vaccine.
The government isn’t advertising the vaccine through emails, phone calls, social media, or the internet. If any information is coming from an unknown source, it’s not trustworthy. In addition to that, no one administering the vaccine requires your Social Security Number, bank account information, or credit card number. Never give your personal information to an unknown entity.
Beware Of Covid-19 Vaccine Scams
Always get your vaccine from a trusted and government-approved vaccination site. Share this information with your friends and family, so they don’t fall victim to Covid-19 vaccine scams. If you have any information on these scams or you think you may have fallen victim to one, you have several options when it comes to reporting it. Please call 1-800-HHS-TIPS, go to the FBI tip site, or report it on the Better Business Bureaus scam tracker.