Westchester officials issue COVID-19 vaccine scam warning

Officials at the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection are warning residents to beware of coronavirus vaccine scams.

News 12 Staff

Dec 18, 2020, 11:10 PM

Updated 1,249 days ago

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Officials at the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection are warning residents to beware of coronavirus vaccine scams.
The vaccine is expected to be free and it’s not for sale. There are no sign-up lists.
Medicare or Social Security will not call people about getting the vaccine.
James Maisano of Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection says his office has “found evidence that they target seniors over the years in different scams.”
In a statement, the state Office for the Aging says scammers are quickly catching on to new opportunities to “…anticipate that they will leverage the pending COVID-19 vaccine to prey on unsuspecting beneficiaries.”
White Plains resident John Hughes is familiar with the calls, saying in part, “That’s like if Social Security calls you, or IRS. These kinds of organizations don’t call.”
Maisano offers advice since scammers may manipulate the fact that the entire country may be on edge about getting the vaccine. He says its best to never exchange personal information. 
He also says it’s only a matter of time before others become targets. 
“They’re saying they can get you the vaccine faster. They can get you on a waiting list, but you have to pay. That’s the trick and that’s how they’re getting the money from you, and then they’ll just disappear,” according to Maisano.
Authorities also say you don’t need to present Social Security, credit card or bank information before getting the vaccine. 
If you receive a call, officials recommend declining and contacting the Department of Consumer Protection so they can monitor all scam attempts in Westchester.


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