CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said on Tuesday that his office had received several calls from people saying they had received suspicious phone calls related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Some of them received text messages and emails, but the majority of them were contacted via phone call. The con artists asked multiple questions concerning personal and financial data, supposedly in order to schedule a vaccine appointment.
“Consumers must know that legitimate health officials coordinating vaccine distribution will never ask for payment or financial or other personal, identifiable information,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “If you suspect a scam, trust your instincts and give our office a call. We can help you sort out fraud from fact.”
The Attorney General’s Office offered the following tips to avoid being tricked by these scammers:
- Do not pay for a vaccine appointment or a spot on a waiting list.
- Be extremely wary of texts from unknown parties.
- If something seems suspicious, call a trusted source such as the local health department or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline.
- Never open email attachments from unknown parties.
- Never share personal, identifiable information with an unknown party.
If you believe you have been a victim of a COVID-19 vaccine scam, you should immediately contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239, or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.