(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and other officials today are warning residents that as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to become available to more people, they should be aware of potential scams related to the vaccine and be on the lookout for certain warning signs that can help them avoid being scammed.
[These scams are certainly not confined to the Nutmeg State. Similar scams have been reported in many other states … details below. – HH]
Residents are reminded that:
1. No one from a legitimate vaccine distribution site will ever ask for your Social Security number of bank information in order to receive a vaccine.
- Nobody will ever need to pay to get early access to the vaccine.
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- While patients may be asked to provide health insurance information when they receive the vaccine, health insurance is not required to receive it.
- Patients will never be asked to pay to put their name on a list to receive the vaccine.
2. Internet scammers may post as legitimate businesses or organizations related to the distribution of the vaccine in an effort to steal personal or financial information.
- People should ensure that emails related to the vaccine are coming from legitimate sources before clicking links or opening attachments.
- When providing personal information, people should double-check the URL to ensure its legitimacy.
3. There are a limited number of federally approved vaccines and treatments.
- People should be aware of anyone offering a “miracle cure,” treatment, or medication that claims to prevent the virus and is not one of the federally approved vaccines.
If anyone becomes aware of a vaccine-related scam or believes they may be the victim of a scam, they should file a complaint with state and local authorities:
Suspected fraud or business-related scams can be reported to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection by visiting ct.gov/DCP or sending an email to [email protected]
Suspicious activities related to vaccine distribution practices or concerns for public health can be reported to local law enforcement or local public health officials.
“This is a crucial time for Connecticut’s response efforts and I am happy that we are among the states leading the nation in our vaccination efforts,” Governor Lamont said. “But I know where there is success, scams can follow, and we can’t let bad actors interfere with our efforts to ensure our residents are healthy, and we bounce back from this pandemic strong. I encourage anyone who sees suspicious behavior or signs of a scam to report it.”
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“As Connecticut continues to serve as a model for states across the nation for its vaccination efforts, it’s critical that we don’t let bad actors disrupt our monumental progress,” Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said.
“It’s important for our residents to help us be our watchdogs by reporting suspicious behavior, such as individuals asking for your Social Security number or bank account information, or promising early access to the vaccine.”
“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things we can do to stop COVID-19,” Attorney General William Tong said. “Scammers are out there looking to profit off our anticipation and anxiety. There is no miracle cure, and you cannot pay to jump the line. Make sure you are getting information directly from reputable sources, including your employer, your medical provider, or the state’s ct.gov/covidvaccine site.”
“Getting vaccinated is an important step in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said.
“Unfortunately, scammers often follow the news cycle and may try to take advantage of people in a high-stress time. So, the Department of Consumer Protection is reminding the public to be vigilant and to take steps to protect themselves from both scams and COVID-19.”
“To protect yourself and your family it is important to remain aware of the signs of a scam,” Connecticut Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James C. Rovella said. “If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam, notify state and local law enforcement and local public health officials as soon as possible.”
For the most up-to-date information about where, when, and how to receive the vaccine in Connecticut, visit the state’s website at ct.gov/covidvaccine.
General information about the vaccine is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19.
The 2-1-1 information hotline is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions.