Beware Of Coronavirus Vaccine Scams In St. Charles

Jason Addy

ST. CHARLES, IL — As coronavirus vaccines start to be distributed to health care workers in St. Charles and across Illinois, local authorities are asking residents to be careful of potential scams.

Two vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, have had their vaccines authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommending health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should receive the first available doses.

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ACIP will continue to update its recommendations as additional data is available, more vaccines are authorized by the FDA and vaccine production increases. States are also working on their own vaccination plans.

While St. Charles residents wait for a timeline and more information, police departments in the area have shared some tips from the Federal Trade Commission that could protect against scams.

Here's what you need to know to avoid a vaccine-related scam:

  • You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.

  • You can't pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.

  • You can't pay to get early access to the vaccine.

  • 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 for 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, that's a scam. Don't pay for a promise of vaccine access or share personal information. Instead, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or file a complaint with your state or territory attorney general through consumerresources.org, the consumer website of the National Association of Attorneys General.

This article originally appeared on the St. Charles Patch