COVID 19 Vaccine Scams are Here
Cybercriminals are at it again! With the ongoing global crisis, scammers continue to diversify their efforts to profit from public fear and uncertainty. The latest target is COVID 19 Vaccines. These cyber thieves are attempting to lure victims with the promise of “Early Access” to the vaccine, for a fee, of course. This scam is spreading quickly and comes in many forms.
Please don’t be fooled. Government officials state that there is no way to legitimately pay to your way on to a vaccination list or pay to bump up your position on that list. The purpose of this scam is for the criminal to gain access to your financial information! With the billions of anxious people around the world, the odds are on the scammer’s side. Even if the fee requested is low, a small percentage of takers adds up to a lot of ill gotten gains.
There is phone call scam making the rounds that also focuses on collecting your information while discussing the vaccine. The conversation can start out with very general questioning and shift to more personal and financial inquiries. It is advised to simply hang up. No one from a vaccination distribution site or insurance company would call you to request this information.
The COVID 19 vaccine is considered a “hot button” topic, meaning it is an issue of major, even world-wide, concern that elicits an emotional response. In the cyber world, the intended response is a click. Take extra care with social media, email and around the web. Even if you don’t make any kind of payment, the scammer is rarely left empty handed. The cost of clicking a single link could be malware infection and lead to theft of your critical data. As we know, armed with personal data, accessing your financial data is that much easier.
Considering the isolation and heightened anxiety of the past several months and it is, unfortunately, easy to understand how many can be victimized, across demographics. Seniors, however, already lose billions a year to scammers of all kinds. This is due, in part, to the tendency of those who grew up in the 30’s and 40’s to be more trusting than their younger counterparts.
The best thing to do to stop this crime from spreading is to share this information with family and friends.