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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > February 2021 > AG Yost Issues Warning to Ohioans to Watch for Covid-19 Vaccine Scams

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AG Yost Issues Warning to Ohioans to Watch for Covid-19 Vaccine Scams

As real vaccines are approved and distributed, Ohioans are reminded that scammers watch and read the current news in an attempt to scam people using relevant schemes.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is cautioning Ohioans to look out for COVID-19 vaccine-related scams that will occur as the vaccine is distributed on a limited basis. 

“A single dose of information can vaccinate you against fraud,” Yost said.

For example, consumers could see scammers impersonating distributors, providers or local health department claiming to need personal information such as a Social Security number to get on a list to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Other scammers could pretend to be able to help consumers jump to the front of the line to get a vaccine, but ask for advanced payment to secure their place in line. These communications could come through email, phone call, postal mail, text message or even through social media accounts.

Also, reports indicate that cards may be distributed to consumers that have been provided the first dose of a two-dose vaccine. These will likely be used to simply remind consumers to get their second dose, not as official “passports” to gain entry into bars, restaurants or other public areas, or to bypass public health orders. Therefore, any attempts to buy these cards will be fruitless.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office recommends tips to help consumers avoid potential virus and vaccine-related scams:
  • Double-check any new “too-good-to-be-true” news or claims. Contact your family doctor, your local health department or the statewide Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 call center (1-833-427-5634) to check on issues you are unsure about.
  • Look for the red flags of a scam, such as being asked to wire money or send a prepaid money card or gift card to a stranger; being pressured to act immediately; or being told to buy a product or service where the company refuses to provide any information in writing.
  • You likely will not need to pay anything out of pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency. You can’t pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine. You can’t pay to get early access to the vaccine.
  • No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine. Do not give out your personal information to someone you don’t know over the phone, email, social media or text.
Consumers who suspect an unfair business practice or want help addressing a consumer problem should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.