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National Insurance Crime Bureau

COVID-19 Vaccine Scams

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COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available across the nation. However, with rollout plans varying by state, individuals are growing desperate to secure an appointment. In times of desperation, scammers look to take advantage. According to the FBI, scammers are using interest in vaccines to obtain personal information and money through various schemes. 

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is warning consumers to remain alert when preparing to be vaccinated. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, so it’s important to know the facts. 

It is always free to receive the vaccine. If you receive offers for early access to appointments upon payment, it is a scam. Vaccine distribution sites will not send emails or text messages asking for personal information such as your social security number, Medicare information, or bank account number.

FBI’s Tips to Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Fraud: 

  • Consult your state’s health department website for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels and only obtain a vaccine through such channels. 
  • Check the FDA’s website for current information about vaccine emergency use authorizations. 
  • Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination. 
  • Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals. 
  • Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly report any errors to your health insurance provider. 
  • Follow guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in Identity Theft. According to Consumer Reports, there were 1.4 million reports of ID theft in 2020. If you become a victim of identity theft, we encourage you to contact the Federal Trade Commission

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Identity Fraud:   

  • Do not share photos of COVID-19 vaccination cards. 
  • Do not print personal identifiers and only use them when absolutely necessary. 
  • Only reveal information online when the website is securely protected (look for a yellow padlock symbol in the corner of your computer screen).  
  • Do not provide personal, financial or any other identifying information to a telephone caller.   
  • Be sure to ask why they are calling, what the information will be used for and then get their name and telephone number to check and see that the caller is legitimate.  
  • Carefully review all monthly credit card statements and check for unauthorized use. 
COVID-19 Blog Tips

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting, and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through Intelligence & Analytics, Learning & Development, and Strategy, Policy, & Plans. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $530 billion in insurance premiums in 2020, or more than 82% of the nation's property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95% ($236 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more, visit www.nicb.org.