Beware of COVID-19 vaccine scams, CDC warns older adults

The Centers for Diease Control and Prevention (CDC) just lately warned older Americans of scams involving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In steerage entitled “What Older Adults Need to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines,” posted on Feb. 19, the CDC mentioned adults 65 years of age and older — one of many first teams eligible to obtain the jab — ought to be conscious that COVID-19 vaccines are “freed from cost” for these residing within the U.S. 

“If anybody asks you to pay for entry to vaccine, you’ll be able to wager it’s a rip-off,” the CDC mentioned within the steerage. “Don’t share your private or monetary info if somebody calls, texts, or emails you promising entry to the vaccine for an additional price.”

Though the vaccine is freed from cost, “your vaccination supplier could invoice your insurance coverage for administering the vaccine,” the CDC famous. “No one will be denied a vaccine if they’re unable to pay this price.”


Since the onset of COVID-19, scammers have used the pandemic to reap the benefits of Americans’ fears to make a fast buck. Just final week, as an example, federal officers introduced that they’ve seized some 11 million pretend N95 masks as a part of a federal investigation into the foreign-made knockoffs which have been distributed to hospitals, medical amenities, and past in at the least 5 states. 

Since the pandemic started greater than a 12 months in the past, federal officers have additionally seen a rise in phony web sites purporting to promote vaccines, in addition to pretend drugs produced abroad, they mentioned. 

Overall, Homeland Security Investigations has used its 7,000 brokers, together with border officers, the Food and Drug Administration and the FBI, to research the scams, seizing $33 million in phony merchandise and arresting greater than 200 individuals to this point. The effort relies on the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, a authorities watchdog geared toward implementing worldwide commerce legal guidelines and combating mental property theft.

Additionally, according to serving to Americans shield themselves from scammers, the Better Business Bureau earlier this month warned vaccine recipients to keep away from sharing their COVID-19 vaccination playing cards on social media.

The private info from the playing cards, that are used to trace who has and hasn’t been vaccinated, can be utilized by scammers to create and promote imitation playing cards, the BBB mentioned on the time, citing studies of people in Great Britain who had been caught promoting pretend playing cards on eBay and TikTok.


“Unfortunately, your card has your full title and birthday on it, in addition to details about the place you bought your vaccine,” the group mentioned. “If your social media privateness settings aren’t set excessive, chances are you’ll be giving invaluable info away for anybody to make use of.”

Fox Business’s Lucas Manfredi and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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