While people should protect themselves against the virus, now they’re warned to protect themselves against vaccine scams.
The Pennsylvania State Police reminds residents to remain vigilant about scams attempting to take advantage of the coronavirus vaccine. While two vaccines have been approved and have been released for distribution, that distribution is based on a priory list.
While there have been scams related to other aspects of the pandemic, such as price gouging and investment fraud as well as scams related to the stimulus programs, scammers have been changing their tactics and have moved on to the vaccine distribution process. Below are some of the scams that are already circulating:
• Emails claiming to offer a vaccine waiting list, early access, or doses shipped to your home. These emails may have poor grammar and spelling and links that may contain malware that, once installed on the victim’s computer, steal information.
• Texts, robocalls, or messages on other platforms containing links to websites that promise the vaccine but solicit personally-identifying information (PII) such as addresses, banking, or credit card information. The sites may claim to be official sites belonging to manufacturers, medical providers, or public health organizations and may be difficult to spot as fake.
• Social media posts with disinformation or misinformation about the vaccine’s origins or efficacy or claims of political motivation. These posts may really be selling worthless or harmful products.
• Do not give money or personal to anyone who requests it in exchange for special access to the vaccine. Public health agencies are giving guidance on vaccine availability, including when it will be available for wide distribution.
• Make sure your computer has the latest updates, and ensure it has an antivirus program. Delete any email from people you do not recognize or has attachments you are not expecting.
•Follow your health care provider’s guidance and instructions if you are feeling ill.
• The free See Something, Send Something smartphone application provides an avenue for individuals to report suspicious activity by capturing a photograph, screenshot, and other information to send it directly to the Pennsylvania State Police. Tips may also be sent to email@example.com.
For the most up-to-date and accurate information about coronavirus and COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health. PSP reminds residents who fall victim to a scam to report it to their local police department.