It hasn’t even been available for a minute and we’re already being warned about scams surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination. With healthcare being a huge target for cybercrime already, this isn’t surprising.
Consumers should be aware of phone calls, text messages, social media links and posts, emails, and even in person tactics that will be used to get their money or their personal information. The biggest risk would of course come in the form of a fake or fraudulent vaccine being administered, but the offer of being able to be a part of early distribution or getting the option to avoid long lines and wait times is also expected to top the list.
As age can be a risk factor with COVID-19, we can expect to see older generations targeted heavily. This means that those eager to get vaccinated should be aware of scams such as a recent one offering priority vaccinations for $79.99 to victims. Of course, this was false and just one of many tricks we expect to see evolve as the pandemic continues to take over our daily lives and fears continue to increase overexposure with holiday gatherings.
Proceed with Caution
Patients and all consumers should always go through their doctor to get approved medical treatment. If you receive a phone call from your doctor’s office offering a vaccine, you may want to call them back at their number you know to be true to verify it was a legitimate call. Do not offer personal information or payment details over the phone, as the odds are likely that it is a scam.
Be wary of any information that you obtain on social media as to where to get a vaccine or that advertise approved vendors or offer priority distribution.
If you have questions or concerns about any information that you see or receive, contact government resources or your trusted medical team directly.