Though we’ve only seen one COVID-19 vaccine scam in SIRS at this point, we know that this this type of fraud will move very quickly, very soon, and will take many forms. Scammers rapidly alter their tactics and adapt their schemes to the changing landscape, and we anticipate that they will leverage the pending COVID-19 vaccine to prey on unsuspecting beneficiaries. At this point, it is essential that we alert the public of likely schemes and provide them with information on how they can protect themselves:
- You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
- You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
- You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine.
- No one from Medicare or the Health Department with contact you.
- No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
- Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.
- If you get a call, text, email — or even someone knocking on your door — claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, STOP. That’s a scam.
As you receive specific vaccine fraud case information, please notify the SMP Mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) and me (email@example.com) via email ASAP. Additionally, if you have a beneficiary who you believe might be willing to speak about their experience with being approached/contacted about this type of fraud, please email me directly.
We are working closely with the OIG and will provide more information as soon as it becomes available. Please reach out to me with any questions related to COVID-19 vaccine fraud.
Program Manager, Senior Medicare Patrol
Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling
Administration for Community Living
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services