Scammers are texting, calling people toget them to pay for COVID-19 shots

From an article that appeared in the March 2, 2021 edition of USA Today that was contributed by/written by: Susan Tompor of Detroit Free Press

As efforts build to vaccinate more seniors and others against COVID-19, consumer

watchdogs are aggressively getting the word out about scammers who will soon pivot their

messaging around whatever dominates the news.

The latest warnings: Watch out for the next text or robocall that asks you to pay money up

front to get on a list to receive a vaccine. And don't click on links in texts that arrive out of

the blue, either.

"Anyone who asks for a payment to put you on a list, make an appointment for you or

reserve a spot in line is a scammer," according to a warning by the Federal

Communications Commission.

Eduard Bartholme, an associate chief at the FCC Consumer and Governmental Affairs

Bureau, said early coronavirus scams focused on selling fake testing products and

supplies, and those scams are continuing.

But there's growing concern, he said, that more consumers will soon hear from con artists

who are impersonating an insurance company or health department as part of the

vaccination effort.

New COVID-19 tricks for old scams

Consumer watchdogs, he said, are starting to hear reports already of scammers. COVID-19

related scams have been reported in Michigan, Florida and other states, according to

federal regulators.

This week, officials in a Michigan county reported that two consumers complained that