State Warns of Scams Targeting Vaccination Efforts

COVID-19 vaccination scams targeting Connecticut residents are on the rise, Gov. Ned Lamont and Attorney General William Tong said. State leaders are sounding the alarm to raise awareness of the vaccine distribution system, and ensure that residents are not taken advantage of. 

The Office of the Attorney General and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection released information about two new scams, one in which people posing as vaccine manufacturers offer rewards for filling out a vaccine survey, but ask for credit card information to ship a reward. In another scam, residents received a fake letter from the governor’s office directing consumers to a website with false information about the vaccine to steal their information. 

“We can’t let scam artists stand in anyone’s way when it comes to getting the vaccine,” Lamont said in a press release. “Please, remember that if something seems like misinformation, it probably is, and you can always get the most updated facts on our website, and from you trusted community leaders.”

“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, but it’s also an open door for scammers to take advantage of widespread confusion and anxiety,” Tong said. “If you get an unsolicited message offering rewards or payments related to the vaccine, ignore them and report it to state and local authorities.”

State leaders have also received reports of scammers posing as vaccinators and asing for sensitive information, like bank information and social security numbers. Connecticut Acting Public Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford emphasized that while healthcare providers will need some basic information before administering the vaccine, personal health information should not be given out to anyone sending unsolicited requests. She also said that the vaccine is always free, so requests for banking information and social security numbers should be a red flag for a scam. 

“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, but it’s also an open door for scammers to take advantage of widespread confusion and anxiety,” Tong said. “If you get an unsolicited message offering rewards or payments related to the vaccine, ignore them and report it to state and local authorities.”

The state is asking residents who come into contact with potential scams to reach out to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection by visiting ct.gov/DCP or sending an email to dcp.complaints@ct.gov. Those who believe they may be victims of scams should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5318 or attorney.general@ct.gov

“The prevalence of these scams should not discourage consumers from getting vaccinated,” Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull said. “But consumers should keep their guard up, protect their personal information, and take steps to avoid becoming the victim of a scam.”

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