Scam artists are taking advantage of the interest in the COVID-19 vaccines to steal personal information, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection is warning.
Scammers are using techniques that typically arise with a major global event such as falsely claiming to be online sellers of the vaccination, sending fake emails and texts that contain harmful links designed to steal people’s personal information, and using robocalls to pitch vaccination information.
Authorities are urging:
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. It could download a virus onto your computer or device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
- Be aware of emails coming from unknown senders. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming to have information about the vaccine.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations or emails claiming you can get your vaccine sooner. Ads touting getting your vaccination sooner should be viewed with extreme skepticism.
- Be aware of emails asking for your personal information. Do your homework when it comes to sharing your personal information over email. Confirm by calling the appropriate health agency.
Hang up on illegal robocallers. If you receive a call about scam COVID-19 vaccines, hang up. Don’t press any numbers. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls.
Those wishing to view up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, including the vaccine, can call the New York State COVID Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.