Vaccine Scammers May Target Vulnerable Oregonians

Feb 22, 2021

Officials are seeing more scams pop up as coronavirus vaccine distribution continues  in Oregon. The old adage still applies: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  

Ellen Klem is Director of Consumer Outreach at the Oregon Department of Justice. She said one scenario that keeps her up at night is a scammer calling an Oregon resident and saying they’re now eligible for the vaccine.

“If you give me $50 and give me all of your personal information including your social security number, your date of birth, your address, I can get you an appointment,” Klem said.

Klem said she’s concerned seniors who aren’t super tech savvy could be vulnerable to vaccine scams.

“I’m very worried that they’re going to be further victimized by the desire to have this very coveted vaccine and to get out there and hug their grandkids and I don’t blame them for one second," Klem said. "But, I guess, what I would like to say is, I urge caution.”

She said if a call comes out of the blue like that, it should raise red flags. Klem noted her office hasn’t received a significant number of complaints yet. But, much like with vaccine rollouts in other states, it’s only a matter of time before we see these kinds of scams and frauds in Oregon. Klem said you can contact the state’s consumer hotline if you think you’ve been targeted.

Consumer hotline: M-F 8:30 to 4:30 1-877-877-9392

Oregonconsumer.gov

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