“Supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine will be limited in the initial phases of distribution, so residents should be wary of anyone offering a chance to skip the line,” said Stuart. “It’s unfortunate that even during a deadly pandemic, scammers are still trying to take advantage of people’s fears.”
After receiving reports of individuals advertising fake COVID-19 vaccines, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is urging residents to be cautious when opening emails or texts from unknown senders claiming to have information about the vaccine. There are several factors that may indicate a vaccine is fraudulent, including if it offers early access, requires payment up front, or makes reference to a government-mandated vaccination program. Residents who encounter coronavirus-related scams can report them via the Illinois attorney general’s complaint form here.
“If you have concerns about the validity of anything you’re seeing about the COVID-19 vaccine, our area health departments can be helpful in identifying misinformation,” said Stuart. “They are responsible for local vaccination efforts and have up-to-date knowledge on how and when you can expect to receive the vaccine.”