A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Consumer Protection Alert: Beware of scams related to COVID vaccines; do not pay for promise of vaccine

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Now that COVID-19 vaccines are starting to become available, Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued a consumer protection alert to Kentuckians warning about the potential for scams related to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

As the vaccine becomes available, fraudsters may try to take advantage of consumers by impersonating distributors, medical providers, or even local health departments claiming they need personal information or payment in exchange for a vaccine.

“Throughout the pandemic,” Cameron said, “we’ve seen scammers attempt to take advantage of consumers by capitalizing on the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, whether it be with fraudulent pop-up testing sites, fake COVID-19 cures, or online work-from-home scams, and we expect that scammers will try to use the rollout of the new vaccine to their advantage. We are committed to closely monitoring vaccine-related scams to ensure Kentuckians do not become victims and that any scams are quickly investigated and stopped.”

While the Attorney General’s Office has not received complaints of vaccine scams, it is important that Kentuckians remain vigilant, as these scams will likely become more prevalent as access to the vaccine increases. They offer the following tips:

• Do not pay for the promise of a vaccine. If someone promises immediate or early access to the vaccine in return for payment, it is a scam.

• Never accept an unsolicited call asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign up to get the vaccine. If you do receive such a call, you should hang up and verify the source of the caller before proceeding further.

• Beware of individuals who contact you offering products, such as medicine or treatments, which they claim are as effective as the vaccine. Check with your healthcare provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.

Vaccine scams should be reported immediately to the Attorney General’s Office by clicking here or calling (888) 432-9257. You can also report scams to the U. S. Federal Trade Commission here. Kentucky’s COVID-19 website provides information on the legitimate distribution of the vaccine and includes a hotline for general COVID-19 vaccine questions, which is (800) 722-5725.

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One Comment

  1. Hello! Thank you for such a useful and really important article in our time. This article shocked me a little. It seems to me that we should spread more and more such information, because many people can be deceived, especially the elderly. If you have older relatives then send them this article so they will be more knowledgeable. I don’t understand why some people can deceive other people at such a difficult time. Thanks again for talking about this.

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