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Sandwich Generation: COVID-19 vaccine scams, what to look out for and how to protect yourself

Be wary of coronavirus vaccine scams as Minnesota ramps up statewide community vaccinations.

MINNEAPOLIS — Just as COVID-19 vaccinations are ramping up, so are the scams surrounding them. According to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, legitimate people contacting you about your vaccination, whether the government or your health care provider, will not ask for money, credit card number, SSN or bank account. Offers to sell or ship doses are scams.

While there have not been widespread reports of vaccine-related scams, it is likely to increase as more Americans become eligible to receive vaccines. The scams AARP has seen are fake registration links that collect personal information, or solicitations to receive the vaccine early for a fee of $79.99.

And as more doses become available, more health care providers will be contacting their clients to schedule vaccinations. Imposters could impersonate health care providers to phish for personal information and demand fraudulent payments. If you're unsure, verify your health care provider’s phone number, email address and/or website before responding by calling their main contact line.

Imposters could also pose as public health officials. For the legitimate state website, click here. Those who registered for the pilot lottery program and were selected to schedule an appointment may be notified by phone, text or email depending on their preference indicated during registration, and caller ID will show (833) 431-2053. For questions about the vaccine contact the Minnesota Department of Health at 1 (800) 657-3903.

When it comes to the coronavirus vaccine, we all just want to know the facts. How much does it cost, and where and when can I get the vaccine? AARP can help you cut through all of the confusion and just get the facts you need to decide if you want to get the vaccine. Just click here

If you suspect a vaccine scam, report it to the office of the Minnesota Attorney General. The number to call is 1 (800) 657-3787. Or, you can contact the AARPFraud Watch Network helpline at 1 (877) 908-3360.

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.