New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald encourages consumers to be on the lookout for scams related to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The first COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in New Hampshire and are being administered initially to directly impacted groups, including at-risk healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities and first responders.
The general public should monitor the Vaccination Planning website for information about future distribution announcements: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/vaccination-planning.htm
Due to high demand for the vaccine, scammers may take the opportunity to attempt to fraudulently obtain money or personal identifying information from consumers by representing that they can provide fast access to a COVID-19 vaccination.
Any telephonic or email representation that a COVID-19 vaccination can be provided quickly in exchange for money or personal identifiable information is a scam.
If you receive a call like this, you should hang up immediately. Do not open or engage with emails from unknown sources.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the American people at no cost regardless of insurance status. Contact your healthcare and insurance providers for specific information about how you may receive the COVID-19 vaccine and if there are any office-visit related costs. Additional information regarding distribution is available here: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/vaccination-planning.htm
In order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in New Hampshire, you will NEVER be asked:
· For payment in any form to reserve a vaccine for you or another person;
· For payment in any form to schedule an appointment for yourself or another person to receive the vaccine;
· To provide confidential personal information, including a social security number, bank or credit card information, to reserve a vaccine or an appointment; or
· To provide cash, money orders, gift cards or another form of payment to secure your access in any manner to a covid-19 vaccine.
Protect yourself from COVID-19 vaccine scams:
· Hang up the phone if you are uncomfortable or do not recognize the person calling. Call 2-1-1 for information about the vaccine or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline to report any suspected scam calls or emails:
o Phone: 1-888-468-4454
o Email: DOJ-CPB@doj.nh.gov
· Never provide any personal information such as your social security number or date of birth without verifying the person with whom you are communicating;
· Never provide any banking information without verifying the person with whom you are communicating;
· Never wire funds to someone you don’t know. If someone you don’t know is asking you to send money through a wire service like Western Union or MoneyGram, you are likely dealing with a scammer;
· Do not open any unsolicited emails or attachments if they are not from a familiar or trusted source or contain suspicious subject lines or no subject line at all even if from a recognized sender;
· Beware of emails that link to a website that lacks details about who is running the company, where it is based or does not have a phone number to contact the company; and
· If the offer appears “too good to be true”, it probably is.
Visit www.nh.gov/covid19 to learn about updates related to the vaccine and for all other COVID-19 related information.