FRANKFORT, Ky. (December 23, 2020) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron today 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, 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,” said Attorney General Cameron. “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. I urge anyone who is contacted by a scammer about a COVID-19 vaccine to report it immediately to our office by visiting ag.ky.gov/scams or by calling 1-888-432-9257.”
Follow these tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine scams:
- 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.
- You should not receive 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.
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.
Vaccine scams should be reported immediately to the Attorney General’s Office by visiting ag.ky.gov/scams or calling 1-888-432-9257. You can also report scams to the FTC by visiting ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 website, www.kycovid19.ky.gov, provides information on the legitimate distribution of the vaccine and includes a hotline for general COVID-19 vaccine questions (1-800-722-5725).