Public health officials warn against scammers promising early access to the vaccine for people who give their social security number to callers.
With the first delivery of the first Covid-19 vaccines assigned to health and long-term care personnel, health and safety officials have already identified phishing attacks involving perpetrators posing as health workers.
“If you receive unsolicited offers for a vaccine, not one, not two, but about 10 should go red flags,” said Nenette Day, assistant special agent in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. NBC News. “There is no way you cannot do business with anyone under any circumstances except a known and reputable medical care provider or pharmacy,” added Day.
The HHS issued a fraud alert on Dec.3, warning that the general public must remain cautious about malicious behavior while the vaccine is introduced.
“Medicare will not call beneficiaries to provide Covid-19 services,” and government officials will not call the general public to obtain personal information, the agency wrote on its website.
“You are not being asked for money to improve your position in the field of vaccination. Government and government officials will not call you to obtain personal information to get the vaccine, and you will not be asked door to door to get the vaccine, ”the advice concluded.
When consumers receive unsolicited calls for information, health experts urge victims to hang up immediately. Do not open or respond to text messages and hyperlinks about Covid-19 from unknown sources, as it can download malware that could potentially damage a consumer’s device, the agency warned.
The Federal Trade Commission has also issued guidelines on vaccine scams, advising consumers to contact their healthcare provider before paying for or receiving any Covid-19-related treatment.
Grifters often lure victims by forcing them to make quick decisions on the phone, the Better Business Bureau told NBC News. “Scammers will always try to get you to make a quick decision […] and that’s because they don’t want people to think about it, ”the organization told NBC News.
The BBB expects an increase in the number of hoaxers using the newly approved vaccine as a way to extract money and personal information from victims, telling NBC News consumers should be careful of any ‘claim to a wide variety of diseases. cure immediately ‘and to avoid all emails promoting bogus fundraising initiatives to fight the virus.
If consumers receive a call they suspect is fraudulent, the first step is to hang up, the BBB says. And if the call is from a legitimate healthcare provider, consumers should match the number on the back of their health insurance card with the caller ID. If the numbers don’t match, hang up and report the incident at bbb.org/scamtracker.
For more information on coronavirus-related scams or to report Covid-19 fraud, consumers can visit or call the HHS website the HHS hotline at 800-477-8477.