COVID-19 Vaccine Demand Can Lead to Fraud

WDH 2-16-21

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is warning residents to be on alert for suspicious, potentially fraudulent activity as efforts to help prevent COVID-19 deaths and illnesses by providing free, safe and effective vaccinations continue.

“We are hearing about unexpected calls going to residents from people falsely claiming they represent a local health department or the Wyoming Department of Health,” said Michael Ceballos, WDH director. “The callers go on to request payment or personal details such as social security numbers.”

“We want to remind everyone that COVID-19 vaccines are free to those who are getting them and insurance is not required. No one should be asking you for payment to get a shot or to make an appointment. Vaccines are not typically being given in homes and there is no payment option to get ahead in line. Your social security number is not needed and should not be given over the phone to someone who calls you unexpectedly,” Ceballos said.

Ceballos noted some people may be asked to show Medicare or insurance cards at their vaccine appointments only so professionals giving shots can get reimbursed.

“It’s also important to ensure you are on the right website if seeking vaccine information or appointment details,” Ceballos said.

Official vaccine distribution details and pre-registration options for each county in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/county-covid-19-vaccine-information/.

Those unable to visit the website for county-specific information can call the WDH toll-free vaccine phone line at 800-438-5795.

Important reminders about COVID-19 vaccines include:

·         The currently authorized vaccines require two doses for maximum protection.

·         For most people it is best to receive vaccines in the county where they live.

Scams related to COVID-19 vaccinations should be reported to the Consumer Protection Unit in the Wyoming Attorney General’s office by calling 307-777-6397, emailing ag.consumer@wyo.gov, or submitting formal complaints (available here).

More information about vaccination efforts in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/.

More details about COVID-19 vaccines, including safety information, from the CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html.

More information about COVID-19 in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/.

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