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Since the start of the pandemic, people are spending a lot more time alone at home. What’s more, there’s a lot of confusion about when, how, and where to sign up and get vaccinated. Add those two things together, and you get scammers taking advantage and spreading false information, hoping isolated people will believe their lies.  


 As you may have noticed from yesterday’s blog, this week we’re focusing on ways you can connect with people who are isolated while fighting fraud at the same time. Today, we’re highlighting tips you can share to help people avoid COVID vaccine scams.

  • Don’t pay to sign up for the COVID vaccine. Anyone who asks for a payment to put you on a list, make an appointment for you, or reserve a spot in line is a scammer.
  • You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine. That’s a scam.
  • On Medicare? You don’t have to pay to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Only scammers will ask you to pay.
  • Ignore sales ads for the vaccine. You can’t buy it – anywhere. It’s only available at federal- and state-approved locations.
  • Nobody legit will call, text, or email about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. That’s a scam.

Now that you know fact from fiction, share what you know, and ask others to do the same. Sometimes a friendly call and conversation is all it takes to brighten someone’s day, help them feel connected, and ease their worry and confusion.

Thanks for being a friendly fraud fighter!

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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BTS- Chicago
March 02, 2021
Thank you!
Bibi 07
March 02, 2021
I need your help; my aunt is 72 yo, and on Medicare. She is registered w the State health dept. and waiting for their call 1-Her DR's secretary told her the Covid vaccine/drug is free, paid by the gov. BUT it will cost her extra $ for the shot: a medical assistant to fill the consent form , a nurse or tech to give the shot ; and if she wants to see/talk to the DR for additional questions like side effects ,etc.. she will have to pay for it..not covered by the gov >>>> Is this legit = can they do that extra billing 2-she called Walgreens:; the Vax drug and shot are free -no fee to fill the consent (mandatory) - you will get a sheet with side effects and what to do+ and you can talk to the Pharmacist for free. But we are waiting for the supplies from the State like DR offices- no one has priority, or cut the waiting time. Can you please advise. Thanks a lot for your super work.
FTC Staff
March 02, 2021

In reply to by Bibi 07

You can get information from There is a page with information about Medicare and Coronavirus. And, there is information about the COVID-19 vaccine, for example:  

Your Costs in Original Medicare :  You pay nothing for the COVID-19 vaccine. You won’t pay a deductible or copayment, and your provider can’t charge you an administration fee to give you the shot.

Things to know 

  • Be sure to bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card so your health care provider or pharmacy can bill Medicare. You’ll need your Medicare card even if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • If you fill out a form to get the vaccine, you may be asked for your insurer’s group number. If you have Part B, leave this field blank or write “N/A.” If you have trouble with the form, talk with your vaccine provider.
  • Medicare also covers COVID-19 testsCOVID-19 antibody tests, and COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments.
Bibi 07
March 03, 2021

In reply to by Bibi 07

Thanks a ton for your quick reply; we are relieved after we read the Medicare info you sent. SUPERB JOB. Be safe, we need more like you..
Don't use your…
March 03, 2021
Just letting you know the SSN scam is still trying. 505-277-6635 is the new number according to my phone. Just letting you know. Thanx, Danny
March 03, 2021
The fraud goes a lot further than that.
March 03, 2021
Thanks for this info. Question: Is there any reason why a vaccine provider would need a patient’s mother’s maiden name? It’s not the same as bank info, but it still seems intrusive & unnecessary. A neighbor of mine has been very frustrated by the process - she is ‘1A’, but does not do email or texts, & has had no luck with phone calls (including 211) or applying online. She called me yesterday, upset that a friend of hers got an appointment at a local vaccination site (a fire hall). She added that her friend had had to give her mother’s maiden name to get the appt. That sounded like a scam to me — or can a provider require personal info like this? Thanks again!