FLORIDA - Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a Consumer Alert to warn Floridians about COVID-19 vaccination scams.

As increasing numbers of Floridians seek to secure appointments, scammers have devised multiple schemes to take advantage of the highly anticipated vaccination distribution.

“We need to remain vigilant, not only in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but also in protecting against scams that exploit the pandemic in an effort to steal your money or identity,” said Attorney General Moody in a news release. “By becoming familiar with emerging vaccine scams and how to avoid them, we can stop fraudsters and build a Stronger, Safer Florida.”

Here are a few emerging COVID-19 vaccine scams reported by consumers.

-Paid Appointments: Scammers may post fraudulent appointment booking pages or call, text or email offering to set up a vaccine appointment or expedite access to a vaccine appointment for a fee. Know that any offer requiring payment in order to place the consumer on a waitlist, secure an appointment or expedite access to the vaccine is a scam. Attorney General Moody previously issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians of misleading appointment booking pages.

-Supposed In-Home Vaccinations through Medicare: Fraudsters claiming to be from Medicare may offer seniors in-home vaccination appointments and request a senior’s Medicare card in order to schedule, but this too is a scam. While Medicare cards no longer use Social Security numbers, the card number is still private data that could be used to commit Medicare fraud and should be protected. Additionally, know that Medicare representatives will never visit seniors at home nor call to sell something. To find more information on Medicare coverage of COVID-19 vaccines, click here.

-Scam Appointment Calls: Scammers may also call would-be victims posing as county health officials or a vaccination site representative setting up an appointment. Rather than requesting payment, these callers are seeking private information to be used to commit identity theft or fraud. These scam artists may even tell victims to arrive at a known local vaccination site at a specific date and time to bolster the ruse. Be wary of anyone soliciting personal information—such as a Social Security number, Medicare card number or credit or banking information—in order to secure an appointment

-Identity Theft Using Vaccination Cards: Attorney General Moody previously issued a Consumer Alert warning those who have received vaccinations not to share vaccination cards online. Vaccination cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include the recipient’s full name, birthdate and vaccine location—information scammers can use to hack online accounts or commit identity fraud. Additionally, these cards may be used to create convincing-looking fake vaccine documentation.

Anyone who suspects a COVID-19 vaccine-related scam should report it to the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

Currently in Florida, persons of 65 years of age and older, health care personnel with direct patient contact and residents and staff of long-term care facilities are prioritized to receive a vaccination.

To keep up with the Florida Department of Health’s vaccine availability, click here - https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/covid-19-vaccines-in-florida/.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.