This morning, America watched Vice President Mike Pence receive the coronavirus vaccine; and while people in Louisiana are eager to get a vaccine for COVID-19, they should be aware that fraudsters could try dangerous scams to take advantage of anxiety over the pandemic.
“If you choose to be vaccinated, know this: no amount of money or personal information will cure the wait to get the vaccine,” warned Attorney General Jeff Landry. “Just like they did with supposed test kits, treatments, and personal protective equipment – scammers are offering too good to be true schemes with the vaccine.”
“Everyone in Louisiana, especially seniors and their caretakers, should be on high alert for these fraudsters,” continued Attorney General Landry. “Be on the lookout for those contacting you by call, text, email, or even door knock claiming to be a government official in need of obtaining your personal, medical, or financial information for you to receive the vaccine.”
Attorney General Landry reminds everyone that the best defense to COVID-19 scams is education and vigilance. So the Attorney General wants Louisiana citizens to know the following information to help stay safe from criminals trying to take advantage of people’s fear or desire to be immune:
- The vaccine is currently available in limited quantities; the distribution timeline for the general public is still to be determined. Access to the vaccine is strictly controlled, and anyone claiming to provide early access to the vaccine is a scammer.
- No one can pay to put his or her name on a list to get the vaccine or to get early access to the vaccine.
- No legitimate vaccine distribution site or heath care payer, like a private insurance company, will call asking for your Social Security number or debit/credit card number to sign you up to get the vaccine.
- You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
If you have become a victim, report it immediately to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721 or www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Additionally, Attorney General Landry encourages people to not give cash, wire money, or send prepaid money cards to strangers; to not be pressured immediately into making a financial decision, especially one that does not involve a written contract; and to not divulge banking, medical, or personal information to suspicious callers.