Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Attorney General William Tong are warning residents of scams that may be related to COVID-19 vaccines.
State officials said the Office of the Attorney General and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection recently learned of a new scam where fraudsters pose as COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer and send consumers what they call a COVID-19 survey. The fraudsters claim the survey offers rewards for opinions about the vaccine.
In order to get the reward, officials said residents are required to provide credit card information for what the fraudsters say is for shipping purposes.
Residents are warned that this is scam that is designed to rip people off for money.
In a separate scheme, state officials said fraudsters sent a letter impersonating the governor's office that says the vaccines are dangerous. It then directs residents to a website that tries to capitalize on people's fears and attempts to scam people's information and money, they added.
Authorities said consumers should not visit any links that may be set up to steal their information.
Lamont reminds residents that the vaccine isn't dangerous. “The truth is the vaccine is safe. The public health officials I trust have communicated that to all of us, and if I wasn’t sure of the vaccine’s safety, I wouldn't have taken it myself," he said in part.
According to officials, there have also been reports of fraudsters who pretend to be vaccinators and ask for sensitive information, such as social security numbers and bank information. Residents are reminded that they will never be asked for this information in order to get the vaccine.
“We can’t let scam artists stand in anyone’s way when it comes to getting the vaccine,” Lamont said in part in a statement. “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 your trusted community leaders," he added.
State officials are offering some tips to help residents protect themselves against virus-related scams:
- Make sure you do not pay anything to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. Also, do not trust any promotional offers that may be related to the vaccine.
- Do not engage with any sales ads that may be related to the vaccine.
- The vaccine cannot be bought anywhere and is only available at federal and state-approved locations for no cost.
- Keep an eye out for unsolicited emails or texts about the vaccine, especially with offers of rewards or payment.
- If you receive communication from your healthcare provider or authorized vaccine provider, it would only arrive after you sign up for the vaccine.
- Do not share any personal, financial or health information with any unfamiliar people.
- No one from a vaccine distribution site, healthcare provider, pharmacy, or health care payer like a private insurance company will ask for sensitive information in connection with the vaccine.
“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 added. “If you get an unsolicited message offering rewards or payments related to the vaccine, ignore them and report it to state and local authorities.”
If you become aware of a vaccine-related scam or believe you are the victim of a scam, you are urged to file a complaint with the state and local authorities.
You can also contact the Office of the Attorney General at (860) 808-5318 or email here.
Norwich police also warned residents.