The Rundown

Ohio Attorney General warns of COVID-19 vaccine scams

By: - December 15, 2020 4:45 pm

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

As COVID-19 vaccinations ramp up in the state of Ohio, so too are scams related to the virus.

Attorney General Dave Yost is warning Ohioans about new scams that involve the pandemic response. Scammers may impersonate vaccine distributors, or might pretend to be a local health department official in order to solicit a Social Security number. Such scammers may tell a person they need to give their SSN to get on the vaccine list. 

Yost’s office also said scammers may lie and promise to help someone get to the “front of the line” for a vaccine — seeking payment for that service.

The office also made reference to cards that may be given to someone after receiving their initial does of a two-dose vaccine.

“These will likely be used to simply remind consumers to get their second dose,” a news release states, “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.”

Scams can be carried out through email, phone calls, postal mail, text message or social media posts. 

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

Ohioans can learn more about the potential COVID-19 scams and how to avoid them by visiting the Attorney General’s website.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a similar warning about scams related to business licensing. He shared a photo of an email scam pretending to be from the state government urging a user to click a link to renew their paperwork. 

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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.

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