New vaccine could bring opportunities for fraud
BEAUMONT – With millions of people waiting for their turn to get the new COVID vaccine, it is expected that scammers will use that opportunity to prey on those willing to pay for it.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen fraudsters taking advantage of public programs and supply shortages – we expect the new vaccine to provide similar platforms for deceit, and we will be ready to prosecute those responsible for vaccine-related fraud to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox.
States will determine how their own vaccination plans will be rolled out but there is not expected to be any out-of-pocket charges during the public health emergency. Nevertheless, the FTC and FBI similarly warn that fraudsters may try to convince people to pay for early access to the vaccine, or to pay for the vaccine itself.
Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or home visits that ask for payment information in order to receive a vaccine. No one from a vaccine distribution site will ask for your credit card or banking information. If you want to verify whether COVID-19 related solicitations or treatments are legitimate, call your health provider.
Millions of people fall victim to scams every year. If you think you have become a victim, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or online at www.justice.gov/coronavirus. You can also submit a report to https://ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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