County Executive Warns Residents of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO—Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro is warning residents to be on the lookout for COVID-19 vaccine scams. As vaccine manufacturers begin distribution and hospitals, pharmacies and other health care providers receive vaccines for administration, public officials are concerned scammers may use the opportunity to conduct vaccine-related scams. “Unfortunately, we know scammers will use this good news to do bad things. From posing as health professionals to impersonating vaccine distributors, scammers will find creative ways to get personal information or money” said Executive Shapiro.
“Summit County residents should exercise extreme caution if an unknown individual contacts them about the COVID-19 vaccine. When in doubt, hang up the phone, delete the text or email, or throw away the letter.” The following tips will help residents avoid potential COVID-19 virus and vaccine-related scams:
Verify any vaccine-related information with legitimate news reports. Double-check any new “too-good-to-be-true” news or claims. You may consider contacting your family doctor, your local health department or the statewide Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 call center (1-833-427-5634) to check on issues you are unsure about.
You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency. You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine. You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine.
No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number, your credit card, or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
Look for some of the red flags of a scam, such as being asked to wire money or send a prepaid money card or gift card to a stranger; being pressured to act immediately, or being told to buy a product or service where the company refuses to provide any information in writing. Also, look out if you’re asked to keep conversations a secret.