As more residents receive and become eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the Massachusetts Attorney General has issued an advisory about potential scams and misinformation intended to exploit the pandemic.
The AG’s Office said on Tuesday, March 30, it had received reports about people getting spam or scam emails or texts after they’ve received vaccines or registered for vaccines through legitimate websites.
While there have been no reported breaches of patient information from legitimate vaccine websites, the AG’s Office urges people to remain cautious about vaccine scams.
“Scammers are always looking for the next opportunity to take advantage of a crisis, and now they are targeting people who may have just signed up for or received the vaccine,” AG Maura Healey said. "We want people to be confident about signing up for and receiving the vaccine through those sites while remaining vigilant about vaccine scams.”
Many of these vaccine scams involve people who’ve registered for or received the vaccine who then get spam or scam emails or text congratulating them on their appointment or vaccination and asking them to click a link to claim a prize of some kind.
The timing is likely coincidental now that more than 2 million Massachusetts residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The AG's Office offered the following advice:
- Be Cautious: Don’t respond to or click on links from a person or company you do not know, especially if it asks for personal or financial information.
- Be Wary of Requests for Payment: Be wary of any unsolicited offers that require you to provide credit card or bank account information or ask for payment or a deposit in exchange for early or expedited access to vaccines.
Healey is also urging Facebook and Twitter to take stronger measures to stop the spread of dangerous anti-vaxxer disinformation on their social media platforms.
According to the AG, online campaigns with a range of disinformation have flourished, sparking fear and distrust about vaccines.
If you have reason to think that your personal information has been compromised, contact the AG’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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