Talk of vaccines has become extremely common in recent days as the global vaccination effort is fully underway. However, this huge push for vaccination has also led to a proliferation of scams aimed at defrauding people who are eager to get a vaccine. Remember: official government sites and pharmacies won’t typically reach out to you first.
How can you identify a vaccine scam, and what can you do to get your vaccine safely and without falling victim to a scam? Read on to find out.
When you’re signing up to get a vaccine, make sure you’re on the right website. Scammers are resourceful and may create a robust fake of an actual trusted website. For example, some scammers have taken it upon themselves to create convincing fakes national pharmacy chains that are offering free vaccinations in order to steal your personal info.
Remember to always double-check the URL of any site you’re on before you enter your personal information. You don’t need to pay anything over the internet to get your appointment; the new vaccines are free for everyone. If you’re signing up for a vaccination and see a request to input your credit card number or your health insurance information, then you’re likely looking at a scam.
The new vaccinations are available to everyone in the US as of the time of this writing. As such, you should ignore any solicitations offering to help you “jump ahead” in line. For one thing, there are plenty of doses available for everyone. Simply sign up at your most convenient location and wait for the date of your appointment to roll around. There are no legitimate services to help you get the vaccine sooner. If you are approached with such an offer, don’t be tempted. The scammer is after your money, your identity–or maybe even both.
Remember that you should only get your shot in a trusted location, like a hospital or a pharmacy. The only exception would be mega-sites, such as stadiums, that are arranged by hospitals or government agencies and staffed by medical personnel. If someone advertises that they’re giving out vaccinations in another location, you should be suspicious. A person giving injections at their home or some other unusual location is almost certainly not trying to help the community. Disregard any solicitations from private individuals offering vaccinations that they claim are “stronger” or “purer” than the existing variants.