Riley County Health, RCPD warn of potential COVID-19 vaccine, testing scams

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Riley County Police Department and Riley County Health Department logos.

The Riley County Health Department and Riley County Police are reminding residents to be aware of potential scams about COVID-19 vaccinations and testing as the vaccination process ramps up.

While none have been reported in the area, the departments released information this week describing what residents should look out for. They include:

* Ads for vaccines through social media – You see an ad on any number of social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) advertising a vaccine option. These will usually ask for personal information to make sure you qualify. Do not trust social media posts that are not from your local health department or government pages. (Riley County Health Department, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Riley County, Riley County Police Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

* Requests for payment in order to get a vaccine or test – The COVID-19 vaccine will always be free of charge from the Riley County Health Department. You will never be asked for your bank details or to confirm your identity to receive the vaccine over the phone.

* Requests for payment to have your name put on a vaccine waiting list – You can sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the Riley County Health Department at www.RileyCountyKS.gov/VaccineRequest. You will never be asked your bank details or to confirm your identity to sign up.

* Ransomware websites designed to look legitimate. You can trust websites with “.gov” such as the CDC or FDA websites – There are websites designed to look like legitimate sources to get vaccine information. Clicking the links associated with the site gives scammers access to your computer or phone. Trust web addresses with “.gov” such as www.cdc.gov and www.fda.gov.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of fraud, you can report it to RCPD at 785-537-2112 or to any of the following.

  • HHS-OIG Hotline | 1-800-HHS-TIPS | tips.hhs.gov
  • FBI Hotline | 1-800-CALL-FBI | ic3.gov
  • CMS/Medicare Hotline | 1-800-MEDICARE
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