BREAKING NEWS Baseball legend Hank Aaron passed away at the age of 86 Full Story

Federal agencies share tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine fraud

There has been a rash of Covid-19 vaccine fraud attempts. These FBI tips will help keep you and your family safe from cyber threats and fraud in all forms.

Posted: Dec 27, 2020 2:41 PM
Updated: Dec 27, 2020 4:32 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are warning the public about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines.

The FBI, HHS-OIG, and CMS have received complaints of scammers using the public’s interest in COVID-19 vaccines to obtain personally identifiable information (PII) and money through various schemes. The agencies are working diligently with law enforcement partners and the private sector to identify cyber threats and fraud in all forms.

The public should be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

  • Advertisements or offers for early access to a vaccine upon payment of a deposit or fee
  • Requests asking you to pay out of pocket to obtain the vaccine or to put your name on a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list
  • Offers to undergo additional medical testing or procedures when obtaining a vaccine
  • Marketers offering to sell and/or ship doses of a vaccine, domestically or internationally, in exchange for payment of a deposit or fee
  • Unsolicited emails, telephone calls, or personal contact from someone claiming to be from a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal and/or medical information to determine recipients’ eligibility to participate in clinical vaccine trials or obtain the vaccine
  • Claims of FDA approval for a vaccine that cannot be verified
  • Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources
  • Individuals contacting you in person, by phone, or by email to tell you the government or government officials require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

Tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud:

  • Consult your state and county public health departments for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels and ONLY obtain a vaccine through such channels
  • Check the FDA’s website (fda.gov) for current information about vaccine emergency use authorizations
  • Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination
  • Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals
  • Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider
  • Follow guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals

General online/cyber fraud prevention techniques:

  • Verify the spelling of web addresses, websites, and email addresses that look trustworthy but may be imitations of legitimate websites
  • Ensure operating systems and applications are updated to the most current versions
  • Update anti-malware and anti-virus software and conduct regular network scans
  • Do not enable macros on documents downloaded from an email unless necessary and after ensuring the file is not malicious
  • Do not communicate with or open emails, attachments, or links from unknown individuals
  • Never provide personal information of any sort via email; be aware that many emails requesting your personal information may appear to be legitimate
  • Use strong two-factor authentication if possible, using biometrics, hardware tokens, or authentication apps
  • Disable or remove unneeded software applications

If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to the FBI online at THIS LINK or call 800-CALL-FBI.

CLICK HERE to see a prior Action News Now story on an FBI Covid-19 related fraud alert from March of 2020. It also includes links to federal government websites. 

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3095814

Reported Deaths: 35549
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles104602114641
San Bernardino2587421561
Riverside2558082739
San Diego2197312222
Orange2178492546
Santa Clara959361158
Kern87240572
Fresno83591968
Sacramento816871128
Alameda69107842
Ventura63413462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43392773
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo33207309
San Francisco29665274
Solano26191108
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25380486
Merced24570316
Sonoma24262242
Kings19588148
Placer17584186
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13585151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10852138
Shasta9750123
Butte9582128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa773145
Lassen519916
San Benito504246
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323874
Mendocino319232
Amador303631
Lake264631
Humboldt245825
Glenn195520
Colusa17969
Calaveras163723
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 48°
Oroville
Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 51°
Chico
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 48°
Red Bluff
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 50°
Red Bluff
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 50°
Chico
Mostly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 48°
Light rain and snow is expected in your Friday forecast. We'll be mostly dry and warmer on Saturday. A more substantial system with lower snow levels is in your forecast for Sunday into early Monday. Long range models are showing very wet weather for the middle of next week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events