Federal agencies warn of possible scams surrounding COVID-19 Vaccines

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — As the public awaits their doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine, federal agencies warn of emerging frauds or scams relating to the vaccine.

After a tumultuous year for law enforcement, Lt. Jeremy Halsey with the Princeton Police Department, said they can breather a littler easier now that they are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“People are starting to receive their vaccinations which is a sigh of relief to everyone for first responders, law enforcement, EMS, doctors. We all really do need it,” Lt. Halsey said.

But Lt. Halsey said the vaccine comes with complications as well. The FBI received multiple reporters of scammers using the public’s interest in the vaccine to obtain personal information and money.

“Unfortunately, there are people that take advantages of situations and COVID-19 is one of them,” said Lt. Halsey.

Lt. Halsey said potential scams to look out for are offers for early access to a vaccine Others include unsolicited calls or emails asking for your personal information to see if you are eligible to obtain the vaccine.

“Never give your personal information to anybody over the phone, that’s just a rule of thumb when it comes to anything, if you don’t feel comfortable don’t do it,” said Lt. Halsey

He said you should also be wary of requests asking you to pay out of pocket to receive the vaccine or tp be put on a waiting list.

“They are not gonna ask for money for you to get a shot faster than anybody else,” said Lt. Halsey.

Lt. Halsey said to stay up to date about vaccine distribution you should reach out to your local health department and your primary health care provider. He said to reach out to local law enforcement if you come in to contact with a potential scam.

“Anytime you feel like there is a scam you can always contact law enforcement and let us know that something going on,” said Lt. Halsey.

Lt. Halsey said monitoring for potential vaccine scams is not something he thought he would have to do, but he said it is now something the department is prepared to do every day.

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