The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine has been announced and unfortunately scammers will use this as an opportunity to take advantage of people eager to get the vaccine. We don’t know what the scam will look like but it’s important people are aware that scammers are eager to knock on your door, call your phones, send you emails and pretty much contact you any way possible. The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) will release specific information on known scams as they happen, but in the meantime remember these tips to help you avoid vaccine scams.
- You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
- You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine.
- No one from Medicare or the Health Department with contact you.
- No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Social Security number, or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.
- Beware of providers offering other products, treatments, or medicines to prevent the virus. Check with your health care provider before paying for or receiving any COVID-19-related treatment.
- If you get a call, text, email — or even someone knocking on your door — claiming they can get you early access to the vaccine, STOP. That’s a scam.
- Be wary of where you get your information on the vaccine. Avoid unsolicited communication. For reliable information:
- You can check out the State of Connecticut COVID-19 Response Website or
- You can read the latest Press Release from Governor Lamont on how the Vaccine will be released.
- See attached Public Service Announcement from the FBI, Office of Inspector General and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
How Can Your Senior Medicare Patrol Help?
Your local SMP is ready to provide you with the information you need to PROTECT yourself from Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse; DETECT potential fraud, errors, and abuse; and REPORT your concerns. SMPs and their trained team members help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries in the fight against health care fraud. Your SMP can help you with your questions, concerns, or complaints about potential Medicare fraud and abuse issues. It also can provide information and educational presentations. For more information, contact the Senior Medicare Patrol at your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-994-9422 or visit https://portal.ct.gov/ads-smp.