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Who is calling and texting to ask if you're vaccinated? Fraud experts suggest having your guard up

News 5 learned state employees are really placing calls and texts
Who is calling and texting asking if you're vaccinated?
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 18:52:52-04

PUEBLO, COLO. — Some of you have been reaching out to us here at News 5 about unexpected phone calls and text messages asking if you've been vaccinated. Are these legitimate? Our Patrick Nelson dug up the answers on what's going on and why you should be careful about what information you provide.

While it may not be against the law to ask if someone is vaccinated, getting a cold call about it is catching some of our viewers off-guard and they're not sure how to respond.

News 5 visited with Susan Egnor in Pueblo this week. She says she got one of these calls from a call agent with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

"It was a young man and he asked me if I had gotten my COVID shot. I kind of took offense and I said, Well, is that anybody's business, but mine and my doctor's?," asked Egnor.

When News 5 contacted the state to see if this call was legitimate, state officials say this is something they are doing.

Responding in an email:

"We are dedicated to making sure that every Coloradan has the information they need to make the decision that is right for them. That means answering their questions about the vaccine, making sure they know where they can get vaccinated near them and that the vaccine is free. Calling and texting Coloradans is part of these efforts. The caller ID should say "Co Vax Co," and the number should be 1-877-268-2926. The calls are intended to remind individuals of the importance of getting vaccinated and to help them make an appointment. If call agents help individuals make a vaccine appointment,
they will ask for limited personal information, but will not request credit card information, social security number, or any banking information."

Still, this doesn't sit well with Egnor.

"I think that's an overreach of government," said Egnor. "The state already has that information. It's already tracked. They shouldn't be calling."

Fraud experts are concerned about how crooks may try to take advantage of this effort.

"There's no doubt that the state has good intentions with this program, but what we know from impostor scams is the pure volume is incredible. We know there at 1,911 robocalls placed per second. We also know in March of this year 7.4 billion robotexts were sent," said CSU Global's Dr. Fraud J. Michael Skiba. "Knowing this could be something of a vulnerability for the consumers they are absolutely going to focus their efforts on this area."

While these calls and text messages from the state asking about vaccinations are real, letting the public know the number they call from is also allowing fraudsters to spoof that number.

If you believe you've been contacted by a fraudster it's important that you report it to the Colorado Attorney General's Office at StopFraudColorado.gov.

If you have questions, or would like to find vaccine information and information on making an appointment here are some safe links where you can find it:
https://www.koaa.com/news/covering-colorado/ready-for-the-vaccine-heres-how-you-can-sign-up-in-colorado-with-all-adults-eligible-friday

State of Colorado COVID-19 Vaccine information:
https://covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine