2020 has brought a lot of struggle and hardship to many throughout our communities. No matter your situation, you have almost certainly had to adjust your lifestyle in the past 9 months. It’s been tough, that is for sure. Recently, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Finally, after all this struggle, a bit of light at the end of the tunnel (fingers crossed tight!).
With turmoil (hello 2020) comes opportunity for scammers, and they will no doubt be looking to seize the opportunity that a new vaccine has provided. Scammers know that many Americans are anxious for the treatment and they will attempt to use this desperation to get people to look past their better judgement when it comes to decision-making and personal information.
To ensure that you and your family remain safe and protected from vaccine scams, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided the basic information that you should be aware of:
- 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 or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
- Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.
It is important to remember that no one will be “early to the vaccine”. Fraudsters may call, text, email or even show up at your door claiming that they have a way of getting you the vaccine before others. This is a scam and should be reported directly to https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/ .
Side note: It is important to be vigilant of scams at all times of the year, but especially during the holiday season. Fraudulent activity skyrockets in the months of November and December. Take a look at this blog I wrote last year which lays out the 5 holiday scams you need to watch out for.
Stay safe this holiday season. From me and the entire Deerwood Bank team, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!