Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is warning residents to watch out for scams related to the coronavirus vaccine distribution that began this week.
Yost has said scammers could potentially impersonate distributors or other health officials to mine for personal information such as a Social Security number with promise of putting them on a list to get vaccinated.
“A single dose of information can vaccinate you against fraud,” Yost said in a statement this week.
Yost also said that scammers may also ask for advance payment to secure consumers’ place in line and warned that scammers could reach out over email, phone call, post mail, text message or social media accounts.
Scammers have been attempting to con consumers since the first week of COIVD-19 lockdown in March, according to data from Yost’s Constituent Services Section. The attorney general’s office said it has seen 39 complaints of potential COVID-19-related scams.
Some of the scams asked people to pay for advice on how to treat COVID-19, pay for access to care and to give personal information in order to get medication or prevent catching the coronavirus.
Ohio began distributing vaccines earlier this week, with healthcare workers being among the first to be innoculated. Nearly 1,000 doses were delivered to the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center on Monday.
To avoid scams, Yost recommended to verify vaccine-related information with news reports and be wary of being asked to pay money or give out personal information like a Social Security number.
The attorney general said consumers who suspect an unfair business practice or want support addressing a consumer problem can contact the Ohio Attorney Generals’ office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.