FBI, VDH supply suggestions to assist Virginians keep away from COVID-19 vaccine scams

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — As vaccine distribution will increase, so does the possibility to be taken benefit of. The FBI is out with new warnings as scammers attempt to capitalize on the need for COVID-19 vaccines.

Many individuals are ready for the decision or e-mail telling them they’re in a position to schedule an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine. However how are you aware if it’s professional?

“Clearly the criminals, scammers and fraudsters are leveraging the vaccine distribution, attempting to generate income and steal private data,” stated FBI Norfolk Public Affairs Officer Christina Pullen.

When you obtain a name from the statewide heart, it should present up as 877-VAX-IN-VA or 877-829-4682. If the decision is coming out of your native well being division, an area pharmacy or different personal suppliers or companions, it could also be a distinct cellphone quantity. Officers encourage you to reply. If it feels fishy, you may all the time cling up and confirm by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA.

Larry Hill, a spokesman with the Virginia Division of Well being, says the primary huge purple flag that one thing is off is somebody asking for cash.

“We don’t ask for cash to register you or ask you for cash to ship you a vaccine, as a result of we gained’t ship you a vaccine to start with,” stated Hill.

One other purple flag is being requested for private data that appears irrelevant to getting a vaccine.

“We don’t ask you on your private data apart from probably your date of beginning and your insurance coverage service for data,” stated Hill.

Pullen says it’s good to have a wholesome dose of skepticism, however acknowledge that we’re in a singular state of affairs proper now.

“I believe that it’s a very good factor when the neighborhood is receiving these calls and this data with a vital eye and asking themselves, does this make sense to me?” stated Pullen. “Does this make sense that they’re asking me for my social safety quantity? Or frequent safety questions like their mom’s maiden title? Or confirming that type of data? It does make sense that they’d ask your date of beginning to verify your age and eligibility.”

When you’ve got chosen to register by way of e-mail, make sure to hover over the hyperlinks and ensure they’re taking you to a professional place.

“Numerous these scammers, what they’ll do is that they’ll change one letter or quantity and so that’s one thing that you simply actually need to be careful for,” Pullen stated.

If you’re requested to go to a web site or give data on-line, be sure that the web site or e-mail ends in “gov.”

If it’s important to publish a selfie along with your vaccine card, be sure that to cover your private data. Scammers can use that to commit different fraud.

When you assume you’ve been a sufferer of fraud, it’s best to contact the FBI at ic3.gov or name 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can too contact the Virginia Legal professional Common’s Shopper Safety Part at 1-800-552-9963.

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