SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- To mark National Consumer Protection Week (Feb. 28 – March 6), Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum released Friday a “How to Spot a COVID-19 Vaccine Scam” campaign to educate Oregonians about the potential for scams related to the Covid-19 vaccine.
“As more Oregonians are being vaccinated every day, there is a palpable sense of joy and relief that our loved ones—and ourselves— may finally be safe from the worst dangers of the COVID-19 virus," Rosenblum said. "So, first and foremost, do not let fear of scams keep you from getting the vaccine. It is truly a lifesaver!”
“However, we all must be patient right now, since it takes a while and there have been frustrations with getting appointments," she added. "This situation, unfortunately, also gives potential fraudsters time to prey on older adults and others who are waiting and anxious to receive the vaccine. So even though we have not gotten reports of vaccine scammers in Oregon, in light of our extensive knowledge of the insidious nature of scammers, we want to remind everybody to be vigilant.”
Six tips on how to spot a vaccine scam:
- You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine. If someone calls to offer an appointment for a payment, it is a scam.
- Do not pay to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who wants money to put you on a list, make an appointment for you, or reserve a spot in line is a scammer.
- Worried about cost? If you are uninsured, on Medicare, an employer plan, private insurance, or the Oregon Health Plan, you do not have to pay to get the vaccine. That is a scam.
- Ignore sales ads for the vaccine. The vaccine is only available through federal or state partners. You cannot buy it anywhere.
- Nobody legitimate will call, text, or email about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number.
- You are not required to provide a Social Security number when registering for a vaccine appointment.
"We hope you will share these tips with your friends and family, and if you know a senior who is not tech-savvy, offer to help them get an appointment for their vaccine—and then, help them find a way to get to the appointment!" the attorney general said.
If you have information, or think you may have fallen victim to a fraud or scam, contact the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov, or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Complaint Hotline at 877-877-9392.