Offering false expedited access to the Covid-19 vaccine, fraudsters are using the high demand for vaccination as an opportunity to steal personal information and money from consumers. As distribution begins, understanding the scams that have emerged and the red flags to watch for will help you keep your money and personal information safe.
The most important thing to know regarding the Covid-19 vaccine is that once it’s available to everyone, it will be administered at no cost regardless of your medical insurance status. You will also not need to provide your credit card information or social security number to be eligible for vaccination. Knowing this, you can safely identify any communication as a scam that asks you to pay for or give personal information to obtain the vaccine or to have your name placed on any early access waiting lists.
Legitimate medical professionals, insurance companies and vaccination centers will not be utilizing social media, email marketing or online advertisements to solicit patients to receive the vaccine. If you are lured in by a tempting advertisement or unsolicited email asking for your personal or healthcare information to check your eligibility for the vaccination, please do not enter anything and reach out directly to your healthcare provider to find out if you are eligible.
Below, we’ve linked trusted websites where you can learn more about vaccine distribution and eligibility, as well as some other tips to keep your money and information safe below.
- Consult Massachusetts’s Department of Health website (mass.gov) for the most recent information about authorized vaccine distribution channels and only receive the vaccine through one of them.
- Check the FDA’s website (fda.gov) for current information about the emergency use authorization vaccine.
- Consult with your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination.
- Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals.
- Check your medical bills for any suspicious claims and make sure to report any errors to your health insurance provider.
- Follow the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (cdc.gov) recommendations.
Helpful resources if you believe you have fallen victim to a scam:
- If you have fallen victim to a scam related to Covid-19 and have not already done so, please visit this link to file a complaint with the FTC. There is a specific place at the top of the page to log Coronavirus specific fraud.
- If you’ve experienced fraud related to a Needham Bank account, please contact us immediately at 1-781-444-2100.
- Our Knowledge Center includes articles to help protect yourself from online scams, identity theft, debit card scams, and other helpful topics.