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Tips to avoid Covid-19 scams targeting seniors

Middlesex DA Marian Ryan logo

The Office Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has reported this memo regarding Covid-19 vaccine scams targeting seniors:

Beware: Scammers are targeting seniors online and by phone offering to drive them to a Massachusetts vaccination site for a hefty payment. Seniors in Middlesex County could be at risk for Covid-19 related scams. Only take a ride from someone you know and trust.

For more information, join the Senior Scams Zoom presentation, set for 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 16.

If you need assistance, contact your local police department (781-643-1212 in Arlington) or the Arlington Council on Aging at 781-316-3400.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sharing these tips to avoid vaccine related scams:

  • Don't pay to sign up for the vaccine. Anyone who asks for a payment to put you on a list, make an appointment for you, or reserve a spot in line is a scammer.
  • Ignore sales ads for the Covid-19 vaccine. You can't buy it -- anywhere, including online pharmacies. The vaccine is only available at federal- and state-approved locations, such as vaccination centers and pharmacies.
  • Scammers are texting, too. Watch for unexpected or unusual texts. Don't click on links in text messages -- especially messages you didn't expect. If your health care provider or pharmacist has used text messages to contact you in the past, you might get a text from them about the vaccine. If you get a text, call your health care provider or pharmacist directly to make sure they sent the text. Don't open emails, attachments or links from people you don't know, or that come unexpectedly. You could download dangerous malware onto your computer or phone.
  • Don't share your personal, financial or health information with people you don't know. No one from a vaccine distribution site, health care provider's office, pharmacy, health insurance company or Medicare, will call, text, or email you asking for your Social Security, credit card or bank account number to sign you up to get the vaccine.

In short, you can't pay to skip the line, reserve your spot, or join a clinical trial. Be wary of any inbound calls or texts that ask for your Social Security number, financial details, or insurance information to reserve your spot. Report Covid-19 vaccine scams to the FTC online, reportfraud.ftc.gov.

District Attorney Ryan will discuss the far-reaching impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic including the increase in scams that target the elderly and other vulnerable populations.  Discussion will also focus on the lasting impacts of isolation and provide advice on how to mitigate feelings of loneliness. 

Contact Sheryl Ball atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 978-929-6453 to register for this event.


Feb. 20, 2018: Arlington offers fire, home-safety program to elderly


This news announcement was published Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.

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