FBI warns about COVID-19 vaccine scams
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - The FBI has sent out a major warning about multiple scams involving payment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The scams can range from phone calls to emails and even social media advertisements, all asking people for money in order to get the vaccine.
Raymond Cockrell with the Killeen Food Care Center says thousands of the families they serve are constantly scared of scammers.
“I can’t say anything surprises me these days,” he said.
“We have about 30,000 seniors people come through our doors each year. So, we hear about their fear of being scammed in a hundred different ways.”
The scammers claim to be with a medical, governmental or insurance agency, and say they need to verify eligibility for the vaccine using sensitive information, including medical records and credit card information.
The FBI says elderly people are most at risk.
“Just like the seniors are the most at risk to COVID, they’re most at risk for folks trying take advantage of them through the telephone or social media,” Cockrell said.
“They’re not avid users like many others, and they’re very much at risk of being taken advantage of online.”
To reassure the pubic, federal health officials continue to stress that the vaccine will be free to anyone who wants it, with the exception of charges from providers. Regardless, the FBI and Cockrell continue to encourage everyone to be vigilant when talking to a potential scammer.
“It’s crucial that these seniors get the vaccine,” he said.
“To all you seniors out there, please, if you receive any calls, just know that the authorities will not call you for this vaccine. Please, go through your insurance or medical provider and make it happen, but don’t ever give away information over the phone, ever.”
Anyone who believes they may have been scammed or are interested in more information can visit the FBI’s website.
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