Gephardt: How scammers are exploiting COVID-19 vaccine to steal money, info

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SALT LAKE CITY – Many Utahns are eager to be vaccinated for COVID-19, and that has created numerous opportunities for scammers, who evolve with the latest developments.

Just a few weeks ago, we told you about how fraudsters used social media pics of folks celebrating their COVID-19 shots with a flash of their vaccine cards. That helps bad guys to steal info or to sell bogus cards online.

On Tuesday, the FCC said it's seeing a huge uptick in calls and texts from scammers impersonating local health departments and vaccine providers.

In many cases, the impostors are asking for personal and financial information on the pretense of setting up an appointment. You should know that no legitimate person from a vaccine clinic, Medicare, pharmacy or your doctor's office is going to text or call you asking for your Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers.

In other cases, fraudsters offer up vaccines for a price. Ignore those offers because you cannot buy the vaccine anywhere.

Anyone who asks to be paid to put you on a vaccination list, make an appointment or save your spot is a scammer. Paying for early access is 100% a scam.

The FCC is urging people to go to their local health departments for the latest on vaccines. Relying on texts or robocalls from people you do not know only spells trouble.

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Matt Gephardt
Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at
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