As COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins, the Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol has shared warnings from federal agencies about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines.
Scammers are using the public’s interest in the COVID-19 vaccines to obtain personal information and money through various schemes.
Here are tips and warning signs of potential COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud/scams:
Advertisements or offers for early access to a vaccine upon payment of a deposit or fee.
Requests asking you to pay to put your name on a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list.
Offers to undergo additional medical testing or procedures when obtaining a vaccine.
Marketers offering to sell and/or ship doses of a vaccine, domestically or internationally, in exchange for payment of a deposit or fee.
Unsolicited emails, telephone calls, or personal contact from someone claiming to be from a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal and/or medical information to determine recipients’ eligibility to participate in clinical vaccine trials or obtain the vaccine.
Claims of FDA approval for a vaccine that cannot be verified.
Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
Individuals contacting you in person, by phone, or by email to tell you the government requires you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
You likely will not pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine.
No one from the health department will contact you.
Consult the AR Department of Health website for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels.
Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination.
Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals. No one will call asking for Medicare number, Social Security number or banking information to sign you up for a vaccine.
Check your medical bills and Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) and Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) for suspicious claims. Report any errors to your health insurance provider or the AR SMP at 866-726-2916.