• Office of the Comptroller

Federal agencies warning of emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines

Updated: May 21

On December 21, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a press release with comprehensive warnings to the public about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines.

Cybercriminals continue to manipulate the public’s interest in COVID-19 with a variety of schemes to steal personally identifiable information and money. Please be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

  • Advertisements or offers for quicker access to vaccines, a place on a vaccination waiting list, or similar offers through social media, email, calls, or texts.

  • Offers to ship vaccine to your home.

  • Unsolicited emails, calls, or texts claiming to be from your medical office, insurance company, or a COVID-19 vaccine center asking for personal information to determine eligibility, schedule you for the vaccine, or stating that you are required to receive the vaccine.

Federal agencies’ tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud:

  • Consult your state’s health department website for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels and obtain a vaccine only through such channels.

  • Check the FDA’s website for current information about vaccine emergency use authorizations.

  • Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination.

  • Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals.

  • Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits for any suspicious claims and promptly report any errors to your health insurance provider.

  • Follow guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other trusted medical professionals.

In addition to your normal incident response protocols, please contact CTREmergencyNotification@mass.gov with any incidents or suspected incidents of fraud or cyber-attacks or if you need assistance with internal controls.

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