Scammers are trying to take advantage of Michigan residents interested in getting coronavirus vaccines.
Scammers are now reaching out to elderly residents telling them to hand over cash or personal information to get vaccinated faster.
Joel Strasz, health officer for the Bay County Health Department, said if anyone is asking for a payment for putting an individual on a vaccine list or for making an appointment for getting or reserving a vaccination spot in lines, it is a scam.
“Seniors are a vulnerable population. They are most anxious to receive the vaccine,” Strasz said.
Michigan is among the hotspots for scam activity. Scammers are impersonating insurance company or health department reps involved in the vaccination effort.
“But they're asking for things like social security numbers, and credit card numbers, and other things like that,” Strasz said. “We don't ask for that information at the health department.
Scammers are using financial and personal information for ID theft. It is never necessary to give that information, but you may have to provide ID or insurance information at the vaccination site.
“You’ve got individuals that are doing bad things to people, nefarious things and trying to collect information to take advantage of people,” Strasz said. “That really erodes the trust across the board, and we don't want that to happen.
Another scam going on are social media ads promising individuals can purchase a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is only available at federal and state approved vaccination centers and pharmacies.