State officials warning CT residents of potential COVID-19 vaccine scams, suspicious behavior

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont and state officials are warning Connecticut residents of potential COVID-19 vaccine scams Monday.

Governor Lamont’s office says residents are reminded that:

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 you or anyone you know is aware of a COVID-19 vaccine-related scam or you believe you may have been a victim, you should file a complaint with state and local authorities:

  • Suspected fraud or business-related scams should be reported to the CT Dept. of Consumer Protection: ct.gov/DCP or sending an email to dcp.complaints@ct.gov.
  • Suspicious activities related to vaccine distribution practices or concerns for public health can be reported to local law enforcement or local public health officials.

COO for the State of Connecticut Josh Geballe explained, “The vaccination is free, no out of pocket cost to anyone. You will not be asked to pay for a slot to book a reservation. You’ll never be asked for any kind of money so if anyone is asking for that, that’s a giveaway that its a scam”

Governor Lamont added, “If they’re asking for your credit card number, if they ask you for your passport, if they ask you to send cash hang up the phone. They’re not for real”

“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 added. “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.”

“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 info about where, when, and how to receive the vaccine in CT: ct.gov/covidvaccine.

General info about the vaccine is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 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.

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