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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Beware Coronavirus Vaccine Scams

Believe it or not, there is a light at the end of the socially-distanced tunnel. After months of trials, the FDA has approved three vaccines for the coronavirus. While it may not be a quick process—due to the rules and regulations about who will be getting the vaccine first—scammers may have you thinking otherwise.

In order to stay far away from vaccine scams, keep in mind the information below and stay safe as you navigate this process.

Here’s what you need to know:

It’s a long distribution process 

The public is jumping all over each other in excitement for the vaccine — but the government is taking this whole process slowly, and there’s no way to pay under the table to cut to the head of the line. Expect a drawn-out distribution that may take months. If someone asks you for money to get your vaccine sooner, run the other way. Yes, it’s a scam.

Takeaway: Don’t pay money for the promise of getting your vaccine sooner.

The vaccine will be made available only through verified sources

Mama taught you not to take candy from strangers, and you shouldn’t be taking shots from them either. The COVID-19 vaccine will only be distributed through doctors and licensed medical professionals, just like your typical flu shot each year. This is one item you can’t order on Amazon, even if you have Prime.

Takeaway: Don’t get your vaccine through an internet retailer or that van down by the river. Not only is this a sure-fire indication of a scam, it could also be hazardous to your health.

The COVID-19 vaccine should be available at no cost

Are you covered? If so, you’ll get your shot at no charge. All insured Americans can expect to get their vaccine for free.

Takeaway: Don’t pay for a COVID-19 vaccine. If someone is asking you to pay when you know you’re insured, they’re most likely trying to pad their own pockets.

There’s no need to share sensitive information

Private information should be kept that way. There’s no need to share your Social Security number or financial account details to get your shot.

Takeaway: Don’t share personal info with an unknown contact.

The only true COVID-19 vaccines are FDA-approved

So far, only vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen have been given the thumbs-up by the FDA. A vaccine approval is big news; if the FDA says yes to any more vaccines, expect to see it in the headlines.

Takeaway: Don’t agree to receive a vaccine you haven’t heard of or read about—it could be dangerous, fake, or both.


Your Turn: Have you been targeted by a coronavirus vaccine scam? Tell us about it in the comments.

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