Beware COVID-19 vaccination scams

Article published 28 July 2021

Beware COVID-19 vaccination scams

AUSTRALIANS are the targets of scams related to COVID-19 vaccinations that are leading to personal information being stolen and to financial loss.

Scamwatch, an initiative run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, provides information to Australians about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.

Scamwatch has provided a few tips as to how you can avoid a vaccination scam, they are as follows:

Don’t give personal information to someone who calls you about the vaccine.

Don’t click on links in unexpected emails or text messages.

Don’t pay to get on a vaccination list. COVID-19 vaccinations are free for all Australians.

Don’t pay for early access to a vaccine.

You will not need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated.

If you are asked for any of the above by someone claiming to provide COVID-19 vaccines, it is a scam.

Scamwatch has also said it is aware of scams that offer people the opportunity to invest in the Pfizer vaccine and fake vaccine related surveys that offer cash prizes as well as early access to vaccines upon completion of the survey. These surveys and fake investment pitches are just after your personal and financial information.

The vaccination rollout in Australia has been very slow in relation to other economically developed nations.  A result of the slow rollout is undoubtedly causing frustration and desperation among many Australians to get vaccinated.

Unfortunately, this may cause Australians to be more vulnerable to vaccination scams. It’s important to remember responding to an email, text or handing out your personal or financial information over the phone won’t move you up the vaccination waiting list.

If you have come across a scam similar to any outlined in this article, you can report the scam to Scamwatch by following the instructions at this web address: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam

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