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If you're waiting for your second vaccine shot, you could be a target for fraudsters

Unsolicited callers want information and payments
Fraudsters target folks waiting for second vaccine shot
Posted at 4:54 AM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 08:50:50-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — As more people begin to get vaccinated for COVID-19 the scammers are at it again. This time targeting people waiting to get their second vaccine shots. News5 has a look at this important warning.

The number of coronavirus scams and fraud reports has been overwhelming during the last year. The latest attack to look out for comes as you're waiting to finish that two shot vaccination process.

"There shouldn't be anybody calling me to say, hey let's put you at the head of the line, or you can get it sooner. You should already have those dates in mind," said Sergeant Joe Matiatos of the Colorado Springs Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit. "Nobody is going to reach out to you. You may get a reminder that your vaccine is coming up from your healthcare provider, but no one should be calling you, or soliciting money from you for your second vaccine."

Law enforcement agencies across the country are getting reports of people getting unsolicited calls asking for sensitive information and even payments in order to secure that second vaccine shot.

Joann Cordero is a senior who was waiting for her next vaccination. She first got a suspicious text and then a call but she recognized the person calling her was up to no good.

"I'm calling to tell you about your second dose vaccine. So Joann, I need to ask you some questions," Cordero says the suspicious person told her on the phone. "In my mind, I was saying this doesn't sound right."

Cordero pushed back on the caller and the phone call quickly came to an end.

"I said to him, you know, you have all the information on this paper I left when I first received my first vaccine, and all of a sudden there was a click," said Cordero. "I just hope to God that no other seniors will fall for this, because we're so desperate to get that second shot."

As more people are ushered through the COVID-19 vaccination process, law enforcement leaders say people need to be ready for these types of calls and should never give up their social security number, or submit any kind of a payment to someone who calls them about vaccinations.

"If you receive any call that is unsolicited, whether they are claiming to be from the Covid vaccine clinic, they say they are calling from the CDC, or the government or the sheriff's office, hang up and call that organization or that agency back," said Jacqueline Reed of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. "Time is on your side and these are ways the scammers use to indimidate and to threaten and to victimize our most vulnerable populations."

Investigators want to know if you do get one of these calls so they can track the trends and tactics to help protect the community and to try to hold these fraudsters accountable.

To report these suspicious interactions contact your local law enforcement agency.

Also, you're asked to report the details of those calls or text messages to stopfraudcolorado.gov and ftc.gov