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How to avoid COVID-19 vaccine scams

COVID-19 vaccine makers sign pledge not to rush vaccine
Posted at 10:36 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 10:37:07-05

AKRON, Ohio — Now that COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out across Ohio, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro is advising residents to keep an eye out for 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 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.”

Shapiro said to keep the following tips in mind when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine information:

  • "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."

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