'We know it's coming': AARP, other government officials warn seniors about COVID vaccine scheme

Posted at 7:01 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 09:41:15-05

Seniors 75 and older, not living in nursing homes, are expected to be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Criminals in different parts of the country have been trying to capitalize on the vaccine roll-out.

As you wait for your turn, it's important to remember, the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine and insurance companies have to cover the cost of giving out doses. So, you should never have to pay a fee to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

"No one is offering you a shortcut for a fee. That's another red flag if someone is offering you quick access, but you have to pay a fee," said Seth Boffeli, a Fraud Prevention Advisor with AARP.

"Whenever there is more demand than supply, whenever there is confusion and scarcity, those are perfect recipes for scammers," he continued.

To prevent falling victim to fraud, never pay to put your name on a list or pay a fee to get early access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, don't respond to door-to-door solicitations for the vaccine. Keep in mind, no one from Medicare or the health department will be calling you asking for your personal or financial information for you to get your first dose.

What you need to do is call your doctor and see if they know when you'll be able to receive your vaccine.

"I think the good news is we really haven't seen this widespread yet. But the bad news is we know it's coming, which is why this story is so important because it helps people get ahead of the curve."

If you believe you have fallen victim to a scheme like this, contact your local law enforcement. You can also report the fraud with the Federal Trade Commission here.

Also, reach out to the AARP victim support hotline: 877-908-3360

To read more about how you can protect yourself from COVID-19 vaccine fraud,click here.

To read about the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans in Wisconsin click here.

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