There are only two ways to get a Covid-19 vaccine—wait your turn or skip the Covid-19 vaccine line. As if coronavirus wasn’t enough, scammers are taking advantage of the public’s vaccine anxiety. Here’s what you need to know to avoid becoming the victim of a scam that could cost you.
The legit route – wait your turn
It’s pretty simple, right? For many, this is the best route to follow. Age, profession, and even geography can impact how long someone has to wait for a vaccine. I consider myself lucky to have gotten my first dose on January 30th. But, what about those who aren’t in my age group? Or who don’t have the right kind of job? Or who simply live in the ‘wrong’ place?
Vaccine hunting – the semi-legit route to skip the Covid-19 vaccine line
If you’re not eligible to receive a vaccine right away, there’s a new phenomenon called vaccine hunting. Vaccine hunting came about because some vaccine doses were spoiling and ending up in the trash. With their desire to see no dose go to waste, enterprising vaccine hunters started calling pharmacies to see if they might have extra doses on any given day. The process is very time consuming. Beware, it might even be necessary to stake out a pharmacy early to grab a place in line. Some vaccine hunters are so committed to this approach that they’ve created Facebook groups to help others. Not everyone agrees that vaccine hunting is ethical, but it’s certainly legal and it does make sure otherwise lost doses don’t go to waste.
The money route – not always legit or safe
Where there’s money, there are scams. The Ohio Better Business Bureau reported that they’re getting reports of people receiving phone calls telling them they’re eligible to receive a vaccine. The catch? You have to pay money or give up your health insurance information to get the shot.
In Nevada, a health plan is warning its customers if they get a call that sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. The stories are the same across the country as these Covid-19 scams proliferate.
Three tips to avoid a Covid-19 scam
1) Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are calling to pitch everything from fake coronavirus treatments, to work at home schemes to get your money, and personal informationhttps://mynews4.com/news/local/prominence-health-plan-warns-nevadans-of-vaccine-scammers
2) Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Right now, scammers are selling products to treat or prevent the coronavirus with no evidence that they work
3) Fact check information. Scammers, and sometimes well meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass information on, check trusted sources like federal, state, and local government websites
Did you like this scam tip? If so, check out last month’s scam tip, Three coronavirus scams and how to avoid them.