LOGAN — Government officials are warning the public about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines.
The FBI, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have received complaints of scammers obtaining personal information and money through various schemes associated with the interest in COVID-19 vaccines.
In a press release, officials advised citizens to be cautious of requests, asking to pay out of pocket for obtaining a vaccination. Also, claims of FDA approval for a vaccine that cannot be verified.
The FBI also warned citizens of unknown emails or telephone calls from someone claiming to be with a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center, requesting personal and/or medical information to determine vaccination eligibility. Other scams include advertisements on social media, unknown contact or offers for early access vaccinations.
Tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud include consulting the state’s health department for up-to-date information about obtaining a vaccination, checking the FDA’s website (fda.gov) for current information about emergency use authorization of vaccines, and not sharing personal or health information with anyone, besides known and trusted medical professionals.
General online fraud tips are to never provide personal information of any sort and never open emails, attachments, or links from unknown individuals.
If you believe you have been a victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to law enforcement.